Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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This was a movie you are just dropped into the story randomly, I feel a little out of sorts. We learn very little about the characters, that makes the movie even harder to follow. I think the story is one that has been explored before with a better view.
Although a compelling plot, this movie portrayal was confusing and irritating.
An earnestly performed yet half-baked and unsatisfying indie drama.
Okay, watch it one time, you get the time and move on and you don't care about it.
The acting was alright, but the whole movie was predictable and uneventful. I sat there wondering when it was going to get good and when it finally got a little interesting, the movie ended.
Terrible plot and ending.
Cautionary tale about a young teacher who gets involved with a teenage student. The teacher was very sympathetic considering the subject matter could have been icky.
Brief at 77 minutes long. Nicely acted.
This film requires a few mental /aesthetic adjustments, and isn't for everybody: briefly, A Teacher might work for you if you're more interested in character than story.
It isn't a "story." The story is boilerplate stuff: a teacher and a student have an affair. No surprises, because the outcome is inevitable.
Rather, the film is a microscope on the emotional body language and psychology of obsession (technically, "limerence" is the word) of impossible desire. And Lindsay Burdge, if you keep your eyes on her, is well worth watching. She nails the way that anxiety and social pressure compress happy love into an obsession that destroys a person's happiness, mental health, and eventually, life.
The cinematography is deliberately claustrophobic, and the shots really long, because the film is aiming at the ambivalence of the central relationship: the love, the lust, the fear, the anxiety, even at times the loathing that one quick look doesn't quite grasp. This movie will bore you if you need something to happen; but it might be your thing if you want to know what it feels like when the small things that happen feel bigger than the whole world.
Lindsay Burdge as Mrs. Watts is a nuanced casting choice to reflect a teacher who might find herself involved in an affair with an opportunistic student like Eric. She's comely but plain, aging but young, a couple of birthmarks on her head and neck to make her just insecure enough about her sexual future that she might need to absorb the energy of a youth in a more adventurous sexcapade. Dangerously, she begins to fall in love, and while Eric is with her most of the way, there comes a tense point she starts to cross the line. It's when this tension hits that the viewer is on edge. It plays on the tension of getting caught, that's what has me holding my breath.
Stylistically it's hard to get behind modern naturalism in a high-school setting, it's just so dull seeing people behave this way. One of the best things in film and theatre is getting a break from the way people actually behave; films tend to show us how we'd like to see people behaving, or rather what's beneath behavior. It's a humorless movie while maintaining interest through suspense and hysteria. Another film dealing with pedophilia is Lolita, which hardly has a dry moment not imbued with dark humor.
Parallel image - Watts driving along in the opening, again near the end, although the background has changed. It's a character revealing moment vs the mundane backdrop of her life. The discomfort we feel when, following the first of these, a pledge of allegiance standard routine in class, Watts leading it. What are our teachers thinking at this point of the day? What are they thinking about us? Are any of them getting turned on? Curiosities are peaked. I think audiences are afraid of allowing the discomfort to unfold, but if they let go of their prejudices, they might find interesting thoughts occur while watching the picture.
But why should something like this happen? That always seems to be the question we have about these kinds of relationships, and I'm forced to counter with: why not? Beneath the stigma of society, it's two fairly young people attracted to each other engaging in what they enjoy, no judgment, no labels. People looking for a deep character study that diagnoses Watts will be disappointed, and I don't think we need to see that. Her life is pretty ordinary, which is exactly the problem. We see her having Thanksgiving with her family, a still life in front of the TV watching football, that's all. Nothing harsh, she wasn't beaten by daddy, nobody raped her [as far as we know] - life is boring and it needs a little sugar and spice. That's the essence of rule breaking.
Once she starts losing Eric, she starts losing herself and her grip on reality. One aspect of Watts' psyche can be diagnosed: she's manic. The most heart-pounding suspense is her daring attempt to talk to Eric at his home, hysterical that he won't talk to her on the phone. Draped in sweats, speeding in her station wagon, she awkwardly shows up, calls the house, has the nerve to speak to her father, then greater nerve to get out of the car and approach his house, where she lures him from the window. It's an uncomfortable moment, especially when Eric's father comes out. She gets away with a hood up just in time to go unnoticed. But we only think that, she's not getting away at this point. In her attempt to run away, showing up at a motel, she gets a call - the principal needs her to come in right away. Imagine this, being her, getting that call, what it all feels like. It's a film about getting caught, how your heart stops when it happens, the fear of facing society and yourself reflected against it.
Not a whole lot to say about this movie really. Doesn't surprise me that the ratings are low, it doesn't have a lot going for it. It's one of those films you know exactly what you are getting going in, and then that's exactly what you get. And if you expect it to surprise or excite you, it will let you down. Having said that, I didn't think it was horrible. Have you ever seen one of those stories in the news about a female teacher being intimate with a student and thought to yourself: "what was she thinking? "If you want to know what she was thinking, watch this movie! Seriously! watching Lindsay Burdge's situation and emotional state slowly degrade is the only thing there is to this movie.