Connect with us

Entertainment

Under The Skin (2013): Film Review

Published

on

Under The Skin is a 2013 Drama/Fantasy film starring actress Scarlett Johansson and directed by Jonathan Glazer

Budget: 13.3 million USD

Box Office: 7.2 million USD

IMDb: 6.3/10           Roger Ebert: 4/4           Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

I give it: 4/5

Under the Skin is a 2013 production that belongs to the sci-fi genre. However, most viewers of the film agree that the film breaks away from some of the most common factors seen in Sci-fi films. When the words “Sci-fi” or “Science Fiction” are mentioned, people almost automatically think of Oscar winning blockbusters like Gravity (2013) or Interstellar (2014). That, or their mind shifts towards Star Wars (1977-still going strong) or Star Trek the famous TV series (1968) that’s also been made into a film series. Notice the words “Stars” as the shared elements between the two titles. This is due to the fact that for such a long time, science fiction films have been associated with galaxies, stars, extra celestial beings, life on different planets…etc. However, Under the Skin presents itself as an astoundingly unconventional sci-fi film with no Space fights or laser beams whatsoever. Under The Skin is a sci-fi film that takes place on Earth, Scotland; to be specific.

The story is about a mysterious nameless woman played by Johansson, who roams the streets of Glasgow, Scotland, hunting for men who she lures in with her vibrant sexuality then eats, not literally. Eventually, we understand that Scarlett Johansson is an alien who’s completely disconnected from normal human emotions and feelings.

That, of course, doesn’t in anyway mean that Under the Skin is free of the mesmerizing visuals we find in sci-fi films. In fact, the film is packed with them but it does so in the most avant-garde way possible, establishing itself as a visionary science fiction film rather than a movie about colorful creatures fighting each other for entertainment reasons. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this specific kind of pleasurable and humorous films isn’t needed. But every now and again, it is refreshing to find a film rising from a certain genre, altering the peoples’ view of it.

Until this very day, some people still believe that a true, genuine sci-fi flick has to have certain elements and iconographies in order to be listed under the sci-fi genre. However, I believe that is a common mistake that societies tend to make when exposed to a certain constant, unchanging thing or nature for so long that they forget that it can be altered or reformed.

The opening scene of Under the Skin is very important, as it has been directly linked to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey numerable times. The scene is viewed as a reference to 2001. The story opens with a black screen and a white dot in the middle that keeps growing until it overtakes the whole screen with its blinding brightness, followed by a cosmic close up, followed by a close up of an eye. All this is happening while a score that is so similar to that of 2001 is playing and a woman (Johansson’s voice) is mumbling incomprehensible words. This scene establishes the viewer’s understanding that he/she’s about to go on a journey rather than watch a film that he/she might forget after. The sequence also sets the scene for what’s to come. In a sense, this scene is a perfect opener, enlightening its spectators that they’re in for a film that is more concerned with building atmosphere than it is with multifaceted plot or dialogue.

There’s only one main character and one star in this film and that is Scarlett Johansson. Her character is of an alien who lands in Scotland and takes form on Earth as a very beautiful and very seductive young woman. Johansson’s character displays an absence of empathy. Another important aspect when it comes to the characters of the film is that some of the men Johansson chats with are real actual passers by who have no idea they’re talking to a huge movie star or that they’re being filmed. Johansson drives the van herself and the scene is shot in hours on end.

The narrative content of the film is innately sexual as it focuses on a woman luring in men using her sexuality, beauty and body in order to then use them for her own special purposes. The film makes great use of the documentary style to
the extent that what you see as a reality on screen is almost too relatable that it initially becomes uncomfortable to watch. In contrast to this amount of reality thrown in your face, comes the way more cinematic and stylistic filming style, which dominates a large part of the film. Consequently, this filming style juxtaposes against the realism of the very realistic scenes. The film’s music is almost perfect. It’s horrifying, alarming, disturbing and startling in every way.

The whole film feels like one long dream/nightmare where everything is familiar yet, seems strangely odd. Where places that echo with safety now vibrate with anxiety and fear. Under the Skin reminds us that cinema is the closest thing we have to dreaming without actually being asleep. Remarkably, the director manages to take the feeling of everyday scenery and turn it into one that is associated with alienation and disconnection from the real world. The film attacks its viewers with its bold, alien visuals and its almost perfect musical score and magnificently produces a delightfully nightmarish cinematic environment while holding back nothing. The visuals and music are so in sync that you feel threatened watching every frame of this film.

It’s been said that this film in particular is a beautiful, yet a dreadful metaphor of women’s sexuality. Some film critics even describe it as one of the most powerful feminist films of the 21st century.

It is quite understandable that during the 80s and 90s period, Sci-Fi films were directly associated with individuals labeled as “Geeks” or “Nerds”. However, now, serving a total disclaimer to the above claim; sci-fi films have managed to become part of the mainstream theme of entertainment. Now comes Under the Skin, placing the sci-fi genre among Art house cinema as a step to alter and develop the specific genre. This only serves to prove that no genre is limited to its most popular iconographies and no filmmaker should stop trying to develop, revise and experiment with any of the well-known genres. The biggest, most significant proof of constant generic change is Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entertainment

Top Arab Female DJs to Keep on Your Radar

Published

on

By

Let loose and dance your worries away on the tunes of these Arab female DJs whose sounds have uplifted the spirits of many, and March being the month of women, we wanted to take the chance and celebrate these Arab female DJs who are rocking concerts.

Enjoy your next favorite playlist!

DJ Cosmicat

DJ Cosmicat, in one of the very few Saudi female DJs, she is spinning the hottest tunes as one of the DJs contributing greatly to the music scene in the Kingdom.

The Jeddah-based artist has successfully made it as one of the most talented acts in the Kingdom’s Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene. She rose to the surface after the region’s largest music festival MDL Beast that was just recently held in Riyadh, now thanks to the festival, she’s now on every favorite list of every EDM enthusiast.

Simi & Haze

Sama and Haya Khadra are Saudi-born Palestinian identical twins, not only did they make it as an in demand DJs but they have also made it as fashion icons. The twins are Coachella regulars and you will find them casually hanging out with the Hadids sisters, the Jenner clan and other A-listers.

DJ Akladios

The Egyptian DJ is among the popular DJs in Cairo, she rocked parties in not only Egypt but Europe as well! With that, she was able to create a global fanbase for her fresh mixes of tech-house music.

Tala Mortada

View this post on Instagram

Reunion

A post shared by Tala (@talamortada) on

The Lebanese DJ is one of the big names in Beirut’s club scene, she spins the grooviest of tunes behind the decks of the city’s busiest clubs.

Sonya

Sonya is a Dubai-based DJ who has dominated the party scene in not just the UAE but across the world as well, her upbeat, house, funk and hip-hop mixes are guaranteed to keep you up and dancing! And with high sense of fashion, she was able to land herself gigs at some of the most high-end fashion houses including YSL, Louboutin, Versace and more.

 

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Lojain Omran Set to Conquer the World of Drama

Published

on

By

For all you fans of Lojain Omran, you’d be excited to hear that this year looks quite promising for the talented TV presenter and social media guru! Breaking news claims that Lojain Omran has signed an exclusive contract with the Saudi Cinematic and TV drama for both 2020 and 2021. What?

Artistic producer ,Sadiq Al- Sabbah, announced yesterday that the Saudi Media has gone to interview the talented Lojain. Sadiq tweeted throughout the day about the exciting news regarding Lojain starting her new cinematic career.

 

Lujain Omran Instagram

Lojain had also posted on her Instagram account the exact picture stating that she is extremely happy and thankful for this grateful opportunity. “I am thankful for having the opportunity to sign a contract an enter the media for the coming 2020 & 2021. I want to thank Sabah Ekhwan and everyone who stood behind me to reach this dream of ming. I’m excited for what is yet to come and can’t wait for you to share this journey with me.”

Lojain’s social media handles are booming with congratulations and support from her fans. It is impressive that she has the talent to be both an astounding television presenter and a cinematic role model! Are you guys ready?

Continue Reading

Entertainment

The First Female Golf Tournament in Saudi Arabia

Published

on

By

Maha Haddioui

Breaking news! The first female golfer in the Arab world is set to compete on tour. Moroccan Maha Haddioui expresses genuine happiness at the fact that she’s part of an extraordinary event happening in this current century. Also, she’s quite surprised that women’s golf has come to Saudi Arabia.

She’s never dreamt of seeing this happen in Saudi Arabia let alone being a part of it, great changes are happening. Maha is predicting this tournament to be a big step forward for the women of Saudi Arabia and on a global scale.

Moroccan Maha has been playing on the (LET), Ladies European Tour, ever since 2012. In this Aramco Saudi Ladies International golf tournament, she’ll be competing for the share of $1 million prize within the time span of two weeks. This is super exciting because finally women are getting what they deserve; the chance to participate and be good at any sport they desire.

The golf tournament is said to take place at the infamous Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in (KAEC) King Abdullah’s Economic City on March 19th through the 22nd  for one of the century’s biggest professional women’s competition!

The tournament aims in showing a perfect example of the new opportunities that are now set for Arab women by starting off with the 31 year old Maha. Middle East as a whole is trying to push female sports and females as a whole to a new level altogether.

“I never thought in my life I would go to Saudi to play golf. For me, I thought I’d go to Saudi to do Umrah or go to Makkah. Now, to be able to represent Arab women’s golf in Saudi is something amazing — and something I would never have thought to happen.”

She has a point right there, you’re only expected to do religious things in Saudi Arabia, never did anyone expect to be doing anything other than that.

“I’m just happy to play in new events no matter where they are, but for me it being in an Arab country means a lot. Playing a professional women’s event in Saudi Arabia is amazing and a big step forward as proof that things are really moving forward in a really good way and I am so proud to be part of that, and have the LET be part of that.”

There you have it people, you’re set to witness a huge change in history and we’re glad they’re starting with women.

Do you think the tournament will proceed or do you have a hunch that they might postpone it for health precautions due to the Coronavirus? We’ll just have to wait and see. Make sure to tune in for more information of the tournament!

 

Continue Reading

Trending

X
%d bloggers like this: