Updated: Jul 5, 2018
"You're our most unwelcome visitor, and we do not propose to entertain you." -Martha Farnsworth, The Beguiled
She was breaking the fourth wall with that line and gave us fair warning that this movie will not be entertaining. The Beguiled was nothing more like a visual valium to put you to sleep rather than an acceptable form of entertainment.
During the Civil War, on some sort extended stay at girls boarding school in the south, five women take in a wounded Union soldier(Colin Farrell). But, according to this movie, women absolutely can't control themselves around a man, and all of them are fraught with sexual tension, and rivalries quickly form, and it's a shady race to see who can knock socks with him first.
This movie was supposed to be romantic, seductive, thrilling, or at the very least entertaining. It failed on fronts. I legit fell asleep for a good ten minutes, because it was so boring, and nothing had even happened in that time.
Honey child, let me tell you!! Never before have I have been so happy to watch white text scroll up a black background. If I hadn’t been so tired and mentally drained from watching this stupid movie I would’ve shouted in praise.
The accents were weird. Most of the time they sounded, “cheap," there's no other way to describe them. They were just... bad. If I asked a random drunk off the street to do a southern accent they could deliver one better than half the cast did.
The plot was basically a flatline. Or maybe it’s better described as a slowly dying person’s heartline. Mostly flat with the occasional slight uptick, that is so spread out they might as well be declared dead and move on. Honestly, I felt like I wasted half of my life in that movie, and it was only an hour and a half long. They plot was so dull, bland, and unexciting that I fully admit to dozing off a couple of times. WHICH I NEVER DO AT A MOVIE! I should have taken it as a sign that the lady sitting next me was asleep (and snoring) by the time the title came across the screen in the first five minutes.
All five of these girl characters in The Beguiled were all clamoring for attention from this random man, and you can safely assume that "the claws were going to come out." However, the claws they were given were more like newly formed baby delicate claws that aren't meant break the skin just lightly graze it. Literally, the most “shocking”(and by that I mean completely predictable) thing they did was push the man down the stairs, amputate his leg, and poison him. Which all sounds semi-interesting, right? However, these were the most anticlimactic moments. I always think it is the saddest thing when movies have all the parts and opportunities of a good movie and fail to make something of it. Especially this being a remake a good movie. Blame the director.
This movie was so ridiculous and almost laughable. There was this, about a three-minute scene, where this one girl was literally running away from the soldier, who at this point only had one leg on crutches. I fail to understand, I am utterly baffled, as to why no one had the brain to simply kick the crutch, knock him over, and kill him or tie him up.
Oh, but. Wait! I can not forget the most atrocious scene in which Miss Martha(Nicole Kidman), the headmistress of the school, decided to clean the naked unconscious man when he first was brought to the school by a student after she found him in woods. Oh, she was all hot and bothered when she started wiping his thigh. Could barely breathe. Face got all sweaty. This is probably one of the worst scenes of Nicole Kidman acting on-screen ever. It's atrocious. It's terrible. Horrible. Borderline offensive to the art of acting. Issa mess.
Not to even get started on gross whitewashing in The Beguiled. Like, even director, Sophia Coppola, admits to having omitted the two black characters in the original story to fit her own narrative; which is a whole other issue that I'll come back to in a second. However, the literal coloring and lighting of the movie made it seem so pale I thought I was actually watching white paint dry.
Anyhow, back to Coppola’s continuous bad-decision making. She literally stripped this movie of everything that, not only the trailer promised, but what the 1971 original movie with Clint Eastwood had. It was cunning, it full of conflicting desires, it had a tension that made the movie complex and interesting. However, when looking at Sophia Coppola past films(Marie Antoinette, Lost in Translation), you can see that she hasn’t made any good directorial decisions before either. She seems to have a knack(going as far as to win a Oscar for original screenplay for Lost In Translation) and keeps strong focus on movies about “the problems” of dull privileged white women; The Beguiled is no exception.
The trailer was far better than the film since it was pieced together all out of chronological order, of course. I rather watch the trailer on repeat for an hour and a half than actually watch the film again. I COULD NOT wait until this movie was over. I kept looking at my watch like, “alright, only 10 minutes left. Let’s. get. this. over. with!”
This was not the finest movie moment for anybody in it. And, I was so excited for it. It had many of my favorite actresses in it, and even they failed to make this a watchable movie. I was gravely disappointed.
FLOOR OR DOOR?
Should it have been left on the cutting room floor or should you be running out the door to see it?
It’s been while since I’ve declared this, but this should’ve never been started and thrown away at the very beginning of conception. This movie was pretty, privileged, blindingly white, and overall boring trash-- nothing more.