Updated: Jan 27
We now only get a drip feed of new movies into our systems, so it's been a challenge to shy away from tweets, articles, and head shots about Kornél Mundruczó's movie 'Pieces of a Women'. Netflix recently pinned the film to their home page, reeling in heterosexual male audiences who haven't seen a human skull appear from their partners vagina to uncover some behemoth truths. Staring Vanessa Kirby (Martha Weiss) it's a tale of discomfort, grief, and anguish following a concerning home birth that derails a train of relationships for the narrative. Set in Boston next to the icy wintery river, the tale was bound to shake a wide reaching fear of nervousness.
Vanessa fabulously plays a quieter, curious role, for this picture leaving you puzzled with her mind's worries in ninety percent of the story. As the drama begins to erupt in the kitchen when the couple go into labour, every part of the camera is squeezed like a cushion between the action. The lens follows each limb like a hawk, from dragging trousers off legs to ripping nails between hands, it's a beautiful symmetry of movement to throw you into the birthing scene. The sweeping camera equipment through the house was mesmerising to witness and unlike any adaptation filmed before for this widely panicked experience.
The main excelling points, apart from the protagonists commitment to their roles, is the directness conveyed to the audience. There's a clear message that all is not well, and fairytales endings aren't to be expected. With Martha losing her baby to an unknown cause, her mother suffering from an incurable illness, and her romance suddenly tearing apart, the director Kornél tells us that life is sometimes merely out of our control.
There are some viewers who will find this picture too disturbing to comprehend because of its frankness. Whereas it provides a practical outlook on our world, there were moments when the enthusiasm was too high. There's a scene an hour in when character Sean throws an inflatable ball at his girlfriend Martha's head when she returns drunk from a work party, which seemed unnecessary, and brought much hatred and angry towards his character's grief.
This film is a timely portrayal of how we cannot determine our outcomes during a scaling pandemic. We as an audience are told the future enforces its own path, and sometimes we have to sit back and follow the course. It's a gleaming spotlight of power for mothers, as Martha becomes a beacon of honesty on the topic of losing newborns, rarely explored within cinema. Apart from the realistic screams of childbirth, it's a noiseless picture that leads you gripped until the court room, where Martha finally releases her agony. As for the boring factor, due to Kornél's prepossessing filmmaking, you won't be tempted to order a takeaway until the rolling credits.