Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Before I begin to talk about this wonderful film, I should tell you all whose names I picked out of a hat for invitations to Pinterest. And the pinners are ... enia, ella, eliza and indie.tea. Please send me an email, as I need your email address to send you an invite. Thanks for playing everyone!
I'm truly amazed that I decided to watch this film, because it's quite timely for me. The essential plot of Cracks is quite simple: a cliquey group of girls in a boarding school tackle the unwelcome arrival of a beautiful, intelligent and worldly girl, named Fiamma. Fiamma is everything they are not: experienced, well-travelled, mature and sensitive. This plot has been done before, but what truly drew me in was their ringleader, their teacher, Miss G, played by Eva Green.
Green plays the part of the manipulative game-player very well. Watching this film, I was mesmerised by how well she managed to convey the subtle nuances of the seductive form of bullying she represents. Of course, Fiamma is victimised by both the girls and their teacher because she represents everything they would love to be. I wanted to feel sorry for Miss G because essentially her cruelty stems from her insecurity about her own identity. But I just couldn't, maybe because I've met women like her.
What I also admire about this film is its use of beauty and symbolism. The isolated island in which the boarding school is situated is like a mirror for the isolation of Fiamma. The theme of diving highlights the need to dismantle the allure of attractive surfaces and look at the danger within. And the beauty of the scenery, which makes the viewers almost complicit themselves, underscores how bullying is aided by the complicity of other people in their willingness to sit by and watch unpleasant events when they are coated in pretty words and images. Quite powerful.
If I'm being too serious, I will add, this was quite fun to see too. On a purely superficial level, the 1920s aesthetic and fashion of the film completely sucked me in. I wish we all dressed like this these days.