Under The Skin is one of the strangest movie experiences I have ever been subjected to. It is part thriller, part reality TV drama, part Sci-Fi and part erotic cinema mixed in a big bowl of strange with the talented Scarlett Johansson holding it all together. There’s no real way to explain Under The Skin without ruining the entire movie, so let’s just say there is a Sci-Fi element to Johansson’s predator with no name. None of the Scottish characters are given names in the film with some of them being actual real people who Jonathan Glazer filmed as part of his final product. These participants in Under The Skin were unaware they were getting a car ride on film with one of the biggest actresses in the world. Told you Under The Skin was a strange piece of celluloid.
Under The Skin is a film that leaves many questions unanswered and I believe that’s the point. Director, Jonathan Glazer made a film that is meant to be seen and discussed after witnessing this memorizing piece of work. The film can be boring and repetitive at times, yet somehow manages to keep the audience engaged. The plot or the motives of Johansson’s seductress are left unclear which creates great intrigue after you have left the theater. What was she doing? Was there a reason she targeted men? Was there a greater plan and who was the man on the motorcycle? These will all be questions left up to the viewer’s discretion to answer in their own minds.
The visuals in Under The Skin are beautiful and strange, but the biggest image that will have people talking is Scarlett Johansson’s nude body. As much as I enjoyed seeing the sultry Johansson in the buff, I hope that’s not the only thing people take away from her performance. Johansson shined only using her voice in Her, but this time around she hardly says a word and the performance is just as strong. You see the intent and the confusion in Johansson’s face as she hones in on her prey. Johansson is proving that she is more than a pretty face or an Avenger. She happens to be one of the best actresses working today.
To be honest, Scarlett Johansson’s nudity was not the most shocking visual on camera in Under The Skin. Many men are seen in the flesh standing at full attention – if you get my drift. It’s not something you see everyday in films not rated NC-17. The scenes of nudity, both male and female, are meant to be erotic and uncomfortable at the same time, which I believe to be the director’s intention. Under The Skin and Johansson will having you talking and thinking about what the hell was going on in this film, whether you loved or hated this movie. I for one, dug all the weirdness, even if I had no clue what was going on at times.
Overall, I give Under The Skin 3 out of 4 potatoes.
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