Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is a weird and wonderful experience of a movie and is certainly one that will divide opinions, for me the movie was a genuine treat to behold and one I won’t fast forget.
What stood out the most to me with this movie is how it at no point treats the audience like a dribbling mess, unlike a lot of film today. ‘Under the Skin’ is a film that takes the over use of exposition and throws it out the window completely. The audience is left to interpret the movie completely for themselves and as the movie progresses it becomes a more weird experience to interpret. With no explanation of what is happening in the film it ended up creating a much more involved and enjoyable experience for me as a cinema goer.
Another stand out point of this film was lead actress Scarlett Johansson. Johansson commands the screen brilliantly, with very little dialogue in the movie, much of the events are expressed to us simply through the emotion in her eyes and to put it bluntly, it works. Often you could gain everything you needed to know about the scene by simply reading the look on Johansson’s face. Her subdued performance was refreshing and well placed in the movie.
With a lot of the movie being dialogue free; it’s left to the visual side of the movie to get across the ideas in the movie and because this is the case it means that each scene is rich in information, Glazer will thrust you into a scene and then leave it sitting there for you to then soak up all that could be crammed into it. This results in a movie that is a genuine delight on the eyes and it’s also aided by having the charm filled vistas of Scotland throughout.
The only main issue that I encountered during the movie was where the movie was set. Under the Skin takes place in Glasgow, Scotland for the majority of the movie and having the movie take place in Glasgow is not something I am opposed too, the only issue that I had with it is because I live in Glasgow and so there were times in the movie where I was taken out of the experience and so sometimes I was not concentrating on what was happening in the moment and was instead thinking about the places they were and the people wandering in the background. This was really my only issue with the movie.
To conclude, I loved this movie. It was a movie I had no context for when I went into the cinema and so that only heightened the experience. From the selective dialogue to having the movie not force the story down your throat with constant exposition, this movie was just left me thinking a lot about all the little details that were laced throughout it and I would definitely recommend that you see the movie, if not just to see something original and different at the cinema before all the big blockbusters takeover.