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Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsFantasia 2019: Swallow Review

dannythemoviemanJuly 12, 201974/100
Starring
Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell, Denis O'Hare
Writer
Carlo Mirabella-Davis
Director
Carlo Mirabella-Davis
Rating
n/a
Running Time
94 minutes
Release Date
July 11th, 2019 (Fantasia)
Overall Score
Rating Summary
What is sure to be a divisive film, Shallow will do for neglectful husbands what Jaws did for sharks all while featuring a brilliant lead performance by Haley Bennett.

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival, to keep up with our latest coverage, click here.

When seated to see a film about a woman who is obsessed with swallowing dangerous objects like marbles and jacks whole – it’s easy to expect a really twisted genre film, especially when it’s playing on the opening night of one of the world’s most popular genre film festivals. Starring this year’s very well deserved U.S. Narrative Best Actress winner at the Tribeca Film Festival Haley Bennett, Swallow may seem a bit too wacky at surface level. However, after unpacking the meaning behind it’s narrative device and why Bennett’s character Hunter acts the way she does, this is absolutely one of the year’s most impactful films.

It makes complete sense as to why Bennett won the accolades she did at Tribeca for her brilliant performance in Swallow. As strange and questionable as some her character’s actions were, she never seems to let go of that emotional side of it all, allowing the audience to not only understand, but sympathize with her craving for self control. Without revealing too much, the underlying reason for her condition is extremely heartbreaking and detaches any disconnect an audience member could feel from the story being too strange at the core.

It’s easy to dismiss a film like Swallow due to it’s deeply disturbing nature and very unorthodox storytelling for an American film with a fairly significant cast. It’s surely going to turn many audiences off, and understandably so. However, if you’re able to handle some of the brutal imagery as a result of the actions Hunter commits, the story and moral at its core are just too hard not to admire and be impacted by.

*still courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival*


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