Darling (2015) film thoughts…. I love it when filmmakers have a definitive idea and the whole plan seems to come together. When I first heard of this film last year, all I saw was the film poster…and I was all in. The black and white image of Lauren Ashley Carter screaming with a purple circle halftone pattern behind her drew me in. I was immediately interested in seeing this mysterious film. What though was this to be about? We know now it’s to pay homage to Polanski’s 1960s film work. There is no question to that and let’s get to the film itself. It’s so awesomely calculated. From the first few scenes, I was chuckling to myself on how perfect Mickey Keating set this up. A young girl answers an ad to be a house sitter in a Upper West Side apartment (this film is set in circa 1969-ish NYC) and is immediately told the previous house sitter jumped off the roof (“I shouldn’t be telling you this…” says the apartment owner played by Sean Young). Now right off the bat, we can tell Darling is “not right”. She sets off for an investigation through the apartment and finds an upside down cross on a chain, after which she goes down a long hallway to find a locked door. Hmmmm….
The film itself does not have much dialogue. It’s all scenes of Darling, going through her mundane day and descending deeper into madness. Everything left up to the viewer to decide if it’s “real” or not. The camera is on Lauren’s Darling the entire film, which for any actor, it must have been rough. But she shines throughout, I am a big fan of her and this is her best work so far. Like I said, this film is well calculated. Keating picks his shots well, some repetitive and does a good job of blocking out the fact that it 2015 NYC, not the late 1960’s (cars are blurred out, no street signs are shown). Even my man, Larry Fessenden, has a cameo in this. I highly, highly recommend this film. It’s just a homage, yes, but one done so well that it changes the game in “homages”. It’s not like a Tarantino film, which is always trying to show how cool he is knowing old films. Darling is just “cool”. A Bluray of this will be entering the collection as soon as it’s available.
(PS as a side note…if Keating can make a “homage” to Hammer’s The Vampire Lovers with Lauren Ashley Carter & Helen Rodgers in the leads…I wouldn’t complain.)