Bones and All, starring Timothée Chalamet, will not only question the morality of its characters, it will make the audience question their own.
In recent years, Hollywood has come to embrace the horror genre, when in the specific hands of a beloved auteur it seems that praise is being showered on the reimagining of the classic tropes that have made the genre so immortal. Leave it to Luca Guadagnino, who redefined a classic of the genre in 2018’s Suspiria, not only to further explore the visceral limitations of the genre, but also to mix it in unprecedented ways with another Hollywood favorite: romance.
This unique combination of styles, tones, emotions, sensibilities and stories create: BONES AND ALL, the story of two outcast lovers who embark on a 1,000-mile odyssey through America’s backroads and turn out to be cannibals. Despite their best efforts, however, all roads lead to her terrifying past, forcing the pair to take a final stand to determine if their love can survive their otherness.
“Monsters don’t deserve love” is said by one of the film’s characters, and is essentially the thematic thesis behind Luca Gadagino’s tender tragic romance that illustrates the fragile human condition. Guadagnino tells this story in a much more delicate way than was initially expected judging from the synopsis, but the director’s romantic sensibilities present in Call Me By Your Name permeate the entire film as the cannibalistic impulses of the two lovers they push them to the margins of society. , isolating them from the necessary human connection, forcing them to go each other’s way where they finally discover someone who can relate to their pain and needs.
The fragility of the human condition is explored in its complexity through two broken characters who face a degree of self-hatred that they can barely understand given that their condition has distanced fundamental pillars such as father figures and guiding hands that any person would need in the past. formative years of their lives, and both carry an overwhelming sense of loneliness and guilt: Maren (Taylor Russell) due to the abandonment she faced when her mother was on the run, and Lee’s (Timothée Chalamet) mysterious past it slowly unravels, forcing us into its tragic circumstances.
Both Maren and Lee and the way Guadagnino weaves and unravels their narratives evokes sincere empathy even in their clashing ideologies and the moral gray areas that define them both so richly in a love story that is surprisingly tender with themes of selflessness and sacrifice. like these characters. they find themselves needing to devour the world as it continues to consume them and everything they have.
Taylor Russell is nothing short of stunning, the beating heart of the story where her simple twitch gaze is capable of conveying the most complex emotions, and Timothée Chalamet once again delivers another stellar work as a clearly tortured soul, trapped in her own self-loathing. The pair’s chemistry is fluid and ignites off-screen with sincere passion.
Then there’s Sully (Mark Rylance), a creepy presence who starts out as Maren’s somewhat hopeful mentor, delivering a performance that’s equal parts sinister and light-hearted, leaving an impact even when he’s not on screen. Very much the worst version of what Maren and Lee could become, if they ultimately fail in their search for human connection, with Rylance embodying how loneliness has eaten away at their sanity over the years, maxing out each of their chilling minutes on screen.
Such a story with a cannibalistic protagonist wisely rides a fine line of moral ambiguity that never excuses behavior but portrays it as an addiction, presenting characters who are both victims of their own behavior and those who consume, exploring the wildest corners of humanity, the thematic viscerality allows the cast to fully engage physically with the roles and offers a raw and utterly primal tension in each frame, while tenderly unmasking the fragility that lurks within as Luca Guadagnino drives the characterization and performance to the front to build an emotional gut. -wrenching crescendo, which feels a lot like every minute it builds up: it feels earned, with a gripping climax that will haunt audiences’ memories for a while.
Bones and All doesn’t just question the morality of its characters, it will make the audience question itself. Horror and romance sensibilities marry beautifully, as visual rawness and viscerality are contrasted with richly layered poignant themes of love, isolation, and self-loathing. with convincing humanity. A coming-of-age classic meant to be about our eternal and desperate search for connection.
FINAL GRADE: B+
NEXT: White Noise (2022 Venice Film Festival Review)
About bones and all
Love blossoms between a young woman on the fringes of society and a disenfranchised drifter as they embark on a 3,000-mile odyssey through America’s back roads. Yet despite their best efforts, all roads lead to their terrifying pasts and to a final battle that will determine if their love can survive their differences.
Bones and All premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival and hits theaters on November 23.
Renato Vieira. 28
Film critic/screenwriter from London, UK
Master in Film Direction.
EIC from the YouTube channel “Ren Geekness”.