Eine weitere Woche, in der ich eine Filmbesprechung schreibe. Auf Englisch. Wie gewohnt alles Andere nach dem Cut.
Ah, Annihilation. I’ve watched this film before, shortly after it came out on Netflix. I don’t know why Netflix suggested it to me because it’s not exactly my type of film. Even though I knew what was coming this time, I was slightly unsettled after the film. As always, this review is spoilery, so only read it if you don’t mind or have seen Annihilation already.
Annihilation is about five women who walk into an area called the Shimmer to try and understand what it’s doing. We know something hit a lighthouse some time ago and then spread to an ever growing bigger area. None of the investigating parties have ever returned with the exception of Kane, the husband of Lena, one of the women who volunteers to go into the Shimmer.
I don’t necessarily think that Annihilation is a bad film. However, I am not sure what it’s trying to tell me. Maybe it’s meant that way. It’s a film about science and aliens. I think the mutations the women encounter in the Shimmer are mostly beautiful, except for the bear. The plants are beautiful, most of the creatures are beautiful, the fungi are beautiful. It’s all very rainbowy which I liked.
The film is also about the relationship between Lena and Kane which we see in flashbacks (in flashbacks) because the film is basically told by Lena. This second time watching it lead me to question the narrative even more because I don’t consider Lena a reliable narrator. One of the other women, Anya (I liked her a lot) comes to the same conclusion while being in the Shimmer, namely that Lena is a liar and not to be trusted. It is partly true, and therefore you could also wonder how reliable her narration of the events is. Who knows what really happened in the Shimmer? What happens in the Shimmer, stays in the Shimmer?
My favourite person and then part is Josie. Her change was even more apparent now the second time. I agree with Veetii that the relevations about the other characters were kind of an information dump for Lena and the audience, but it gave us the information that Josie was, likely, depressed and self-harming. I remember that I liked her development even the first time I watched the film and it’s something I remembered quite well. This time, I could appreciate it even more because the change is also visible on the outside. Throughout the walk through the Shimmer, Josie wears long sleeves to hide her scars. When she’s decided that she doesn’t want to fight or face the Shimmer (anymore), she shows her scarred arms and also her face by taking back her hair. I like how she is able to accept that the Shimmer is something completely different that she doesn’t entirely understand but that is also not trying to harm her. Not really anyway. And I like that she turns herself into flowers. It’s, in my opinion, the most beautiful part of this movie. Honestly, after that I didn’t care much anymore about what happens next.
Although the ending is also interesting. Again, I agree with Veetii that it’s unclear why Kane didn’t die when the Shimmer disappeared. My understanding is that realKane died in the Shimmer and mirrorKane came out of the Shimmer which didn’t do him any good. Whereas mirrorLena died in the Shimmer and realLena came out of the shimmer. Although realLena is part of the Shimmer as well because the Shimmer had already started to refract parts of her DNA as we know from when she checked out her blood. So. With this established, I liked that the Shimmer somehow managed to escape its own burning by becoming part of Lena and Kane, and it found a way to survive. Whatever that means. Because then it ends.
Well, this was not a very coherent review. It was also a somewhat irritating movie with nice visuals. So, I think I still give it only 2 stars because I really don’t want to see it again.