Following her boyfriend's suicide, supermarket clerk Morvern Callar passes off his unpublished novel as her own. With the money her boyfriend left for his funeral, she leaves Scotland for ... See full summary »
A woman's life is derailed en route to a potentially lucrative summer job. When her car breaks down, and her dog is taken to the pound, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes ... See full summary »
Glasgow, summer, 1973. Dustmen are striking; bags of garbage add to the blight of council flats and a fetid canal. Ryan, who's about 12, drowns during a play fight with his neighbor, the ... See full summary »
A young man swims across the rivers and lakes of Britain to a soundtrack of assorted nationalistic music. As he passes people on the banksides including children,lovers and a tramp their ... See full summary »
Following her boyfriend's suicide, supermarket clerk Morvern Callar passes off his unpublished novel as her own. With the money her boyfriend left for his funeral, she leaves Scotland for Ibiza where she travels with her closest friend. The journey prompts a series of internal and external transformations for Morvern-- ones which bring to light her experiences of grief, memory, freedom, and desire. Written by
I haven't read the book of 'Morvern Callar', but I have read a couple of other works by Alan Warner, both of which where distinguished by their spiky characters and irreverent tone. This film, however, is made by Lynne Ramsay, whose first work was 'Ratcatcher', a move both astonishingly affecting and almost unwatchable. In 'Morvern Callar', she opts for a similarly intense style. Ramsay is a master of certain cinematic tricks, which she uses with more skill than discretion: frequent cutting (both within and between scenes) and the use of fragmentary, non-explanatory dialogue. She succeeds in conveying a sense of alienation and a semi-documentary feel, but there's no relief, no variation in mood at any point in the film. Samantha Morton (too old for the role and, crucially, not Scottish) plays Morvern as a kind of semi-moron; and yet their are times when the film seems also to be presenting her as a deep and knowing soul, a not altogether happy conjunction. Also worthy of criticism is the peculiar soundtrack: the songs we hear just don't sound like what we would expect a girl like Morvern to listen to, feeling instead like a heavy handed attempt by the director to set the scene from the outside.
Perhaps I am being too hard on the film because it wasn't what I expected from my knowledge of the writer. Once I got over this, I did quite enjoy it, many individual scenes are very nicely crafted, and the loose, drifting plot has its own appeal. But it feels more as if it was based on a short story than a novel, and Ramsay's determination to show Morvern as a victim (it's never clear of what) strips it of its potentially comic dimensions and leaves us with a thin outline trying too hard to assert its own significance. An interesting film, but one that appears to have lost sight of its purpose.
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