As with most releases that distributors are afraid won’t do well, i had to catch this one in theathers not even a week after it was out, quickly before the week’s new releases would inevitably push it out of the schedule altogether, we gotta make space for a russo-hungarian cheap looking animated kids movie about a fuckin rat.
And i’m glad i did, because Alice, Darling tells the story of a woman in an abusive relationship, Alice (Anna Kendrick), that decides to go with her friends to celebrate one of them hitting the 30s, but to do so lies to her strange fianceè because she’s afraid of what he might say or do if he finds out. Or more likely when he finds out, as we slowly learn the kind of abusive, manipulating piece of shit he is, as Alice manages to eventually confront and escape from his web of calculated guilt tripping ways, and her friends also become aware of the situation, feeling like they could have done something better if they actually knew a long time ago.
What is notable is that despite the trailer (or the tags for the review, for that matter), Alice, Darling doesn’t have a “hook” in the way of epitomizing this via a horror or otherwise explicit and graphic angle. This is a slow burner without exploitation style trappings, the psychological abuse and violence is comunicated mostly visually, through timely silences, implications, the poignancy in the unsaid, and there’s no deliberaly exaggerated “setpiece”, as the movie depicts with success the many little things that seem innocuous or benign because the abused has accepted them as the new de facto normality, how they creep slowly over time unquestioned and can fester into a person.
A very solid, worthwhile feature debut for director Mary Nighy.