The Beguiled Review

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Get beguiled

That Colin Farrell is one smooth fellow. The word out on the street is that the ladies like him.  So much so, that they made a movie out of it.  Colin Farrell finds himself to be the object of affection of an all girls school in the South. If that’s not jackpot, I don’t know what is. However, you don’t want to mess with a woman and her affection.  You can only juggle so many women at one time before it’ll come back to bite you.  There is usually hell to pay. 

All jokes aside, the Beguiled isn’t about Colin Farrell. He just stars in it as Yankee Corporal John Burney.  Beguiled is a drama/thriller that takes place during the Civil War somewhere in the South.  Nicole Kidman heads an all girls school.  One day, while one of the girls is gathering mushrooms, she discovers a badly injured John Burney in the woods.  The girl decides to take him back to the school to help after she finds him to not be threatening. Luckily for John Burney, the girls are extra willing to help him as they tend to his wounds.  That sounds great for John, but things turn for the worse as he finds himself juggling the affection of almost every female in the building.  What initially sounds like a good thing is not as this causes tension that ultimately leads to a not so pleasant outcome for someone in the house.

I think the marketing for this movie is slightly off base.  It portrays the movie as a sort of sadistic horror when it is not that all.  It’s more of a drama with lots of tense moments. Despite the marketing, I found this to be quite the entertaining movie.

The movie starts off with a slow burn for most of the way before building up to anything of consequence in the third act.  This tactic works as you get to know most of the major players well. You get the feeling that the Corporal is obviously taking advantage of his situation but he comes off as a nice guy all else considered.  Being that this is an all girls school in the south, where all worthy men are off to war, it makes sense that these girls would get lonely for some male attention. 

This movie is put together quite beautifully.  I loved all the shots of the magnificent school. Despite, the slowness of it initially, it really keeps you intrigued by what is going on.  The acting doesn’t hurt also.  Nicole Kidman, with her piercing eyes, is compelling in her role as the Headmaster who may or may desire John Burney.  Colin Farrell plays the charmer perfectly. Kristen Dunst and Elle Fanning are also solid here.

Talk about a messed-up way to end though and I mean that in a good way.  The resolution is straightforward, just when you think there will be curveball thrown in here. The Beguiled is a dark look into the world of emotional overreaction that some may fall prey to. Who is the villain here? I had my feeling tilting one way although it seems like the movie wants it to be portrayed the other. The ambiguity is good. 

This is a mature thriller for a mature audience.  Certainly, you should appreciate the originality of this work.   It’s a refreshing break from some of the more outlandish summer blockbusters out at the moment.  Beguile means to charm or enchant with a touch of deceptiveness. This move does that quite nicely.

Grade: B+

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