I think most of the negative comments I read here are people mad at two things. First, they're mad that Una herself seems ambivalent about the relationship she at 13 with this man. Part of her is mad at Ray, but part of her clearly misses him. It even kind of looks like maybe she's only mad because he left her, not because he statutorily raped her. Second, it allows Ray the space to say that he's not really a pedophile, but just loved this particular girl at that time. It clearly wants the viewer to consider whether this was a truly loving relationship that was only complicated by the age issue. People justifiably do not want to consider such a thing and, if you're like my wife, turned it off. I came back to finish it because I was interested to see how it was going to resolve. And the acting and cinematography are phenomenal.
Here's where the movie saves itself and proves it isn't what my wife thought it was.
You get your first glimpse at true Ray in the warehouse when he starts saying stuff to Una like "You were just so wise for your years." That's the kind of manipulative crap that pedophiles use to "groom" their victims. It harkens back to past pedophile Ray. It passes quickly, but it's clear that there's more to Ray than he's been showing us.
I'm skipping a bunch. In the end, they go to a garden party at Ray's house where Una discovers that he married a woman who has her own very cute 13 year old daughter. Suddenly Ray sees that he's in danger. He follows Una out and starts telling her again how special she was and how he's never been attracted to another young girl etc. He's clearly full of shit. At that moment, Una realizes that he's been full of shit for however many years. She realizes how stupid she's been for holding a candle for this guy, and she leaves, feeling disgusted. Ray turns around and everyone saw *something* happen. He's got some explaining to do and it's probably not going to go well for him.
But here's why I love this movie.
It turns the *viewer* into Una. At the beginning we're thinking this guy is a creepo, but maybe it was just this momentary thing and he's not *really* a pedophile. Maybe he even really loved her, even if having sex with her was wrong. The film forces us into Una's ambivalence. It's only in the last few moments that we do a 180 along with Una. She and the viewer realize in the same moment that Ray is and always has been a predator.
If you don't watch it until the end, you might think it's defending statutory rape. It's not. It's just trying to take you on a journey with a woman who is still on a hard journey, processing her abuse. For that reason, it's a powerful film
Drama / Romance
Drama / Romance
When a young woman unexpectedly arrives at her much-older former lover's workplace, looking for answers, the secrets of their dark past threaten to unravel his new life. What follows is an emotional and unflinching excavation of inappropriate love, with shattering consequences.
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October 01, 2017 at 12:50 PM