Following her boyfriend's suicide, supermarket clerk Morvern Callar passes off his unpublished novel as her own.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 »
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Following her boyfriend's suicide, supermarket clerk Morvern Callar passes off his unpublished novel as her own.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
For me, the most notable thing about this film was the scarcity of dialogue. It is a brave move on the director's part for sure, but for a film that tells a story of personal awakening (of sorts), the infrequent speech means we can never be sure of what Morvern is thinking or feeling. We don't get much help from the camera either - the film is exquisitely shot, but many of the scenes have a confrontational, tense and opaque sense of aesthetics - there is not enough variation in feel to tell the story of someone who changes their life completely.
My reading of Morvern Callar (as a film and a character) is of a woman who escapes from a humdrum, ugly life. Through personal awakening, art and good fortune, she comes to embrace a more bohemian and expansive existence. In short, she learns to live.
It's a big story and a big theme - yet we never really understand how and why Morvern comes to change her entire outlook on life. Neither do we hear enough from her to mitigate the more unpleasant sides of her character - her frequent (and occasionally sociopathic) lack of emotional response, her selfish excess, her deliberate mistreating of her friend. I suspect she is supposed to be a hero of sorts, but she could equally be an anti-hero or even something in between. We just never find out enough about her - in her words, anyone else's words or the director's shooting of her.
I'm glad that the film has made me consider questions like this, and as an intellectual exercise it's therefore quite enjoyable. As entertainment, as statement or as spectacle however, it's quite badly flawed.
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