Brutal Honesty: Our Review of ‘Alice, Darling’

Brutal Honesty: Our Review of ‘Alice, Darling’

It’s easy to take for granted something that tries to be honest….

In theatres and on VOD Platforms today, Alice, Darling is a stunning piece of cinema that quite frankly men need to see and understand.

Alice (Anna Kendrick) has been pushed to the breaking point by her psychologically abusive boyfriend, Simon. While on vacation with two close girlfriends, Alice rediscovers the essence of herself and gains some much-needed perspective. Slowly, she starts to fray the cords of codependency that bind her. But Simon’s vengeance is as inevitable as it is shattering – and, once unleashed, it tests Alice’s strength, her courage, and the bonds of her deep-rooted friendships.

Historically audiences are used to seeing stories of abusive relationships play out In big sweeping and often murderous beats throughout the narrative, Alice, Darling doesn’t have that, but that’s why it’s just so goddamn haunting because it’s paints an accurate and disturbing portrait of a gas lighting narcissistic sociopath and how they never quite look how we think they will.

Director Mary Nighy in concert with screenwriter Alanna Francis crafts a story that more than anything feels genuine and honest in the anxiety of living in a relationship like this.  Nighy deftly uses a lot of close ups and allows her actors moments of silence to genuinely simmer in what is going on up on the screen.  The script from Francis avoids any clichéd tropes and successfully puts us into the head space of someone who has been gas lighted into thinking that no one will ever love them (except them).

The film is never in any instant trying to force any agenda, social or otherwise because at its core, it’s about people who want their friend back from this relationship pit that she finds herself in and their fight to get her back.  It’s very much one of survival as these friends try to not isolate her from her boyfriend but make her understand what kind of a person he actually is.  It’s very much a thriller for the mind as the violence is 110% emotional in this film and these actors really make you feel it.

If this film isn’t enough proof that Anna Kendrick should be getting more dramatic roles then honestly I don’t know what to do because in her turn her as our title character she is nothing less than riveting.  Channeling some of her own personal experiences to find the character we see this persons genuine fragility laid bare for all to see.  Kaniehtiio Horn and Wunmi Mosaku do a great job as the besties in support while actor Charlie Carrick may have a problem walking around the streets of Toronto because he was just too damn good as the creepy and manipulative Simon.

At the end of it all, Alice, Darling isn’t an easy movie to watch but it’s a necessary one because it says so much more in the quiet moments in the back of our minds then it ever could have put on the screen.

  • Release Date: 2/3/2023
This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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