Movie Reviews

Womb: Uncomfortably Beautiful

By Wang DexianMovies - 10 August 2011 9:30 AM | Updated 12 August 2011

Womb: Uncomfortably Beautiful

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Ratings: 4 stars out of 5

The Stars: Eva Green, Matt Smith (AKA Doctor Who!), Hannah Murphy

The Buzz: The provocative subject matters of cloning and incest will almost certainly cause this indie release to generate some serious buzz…

The Story: A childhood romance between Rebecca and Thomas is reignited when Rebecca returns from Japan. Just when old passions are set aflame, Thomas is tragically killed in a sudden accident. Thus, Rebecca decides to clone Thomas’ genetic material into her own child, leading to repercussions and dire consequences that she’ll have to face as he grows up. says: First off, this film obviously isn’t for everyone. It’s set at a deliberate pace and the story takes its own time to grow into itself. If there’s one word to describe Womb, it would be sparse. And we’re not just referring to the story itself. The entire film’s style, from production, story and acting is sparse. Shots are slow, the music is characteristically minimalistic with only one instrument most times and even dialogue is very limited. The imagery in particular, set against the backdrop of the coasts of Sylt, invokes the solitude we feel from the characters in the film; beautiful, wide never ending coasts. While this might sound like a monumental task for the attention challenged, and it is but it serves this film so well because of the themes and motifs that are presented to us such as the intense isolation and rejection that these characters go through.

This silence allows the strong emotions surrounding this situation to engulf the viewer and eventually set oneself thinking. What is she going to do with the child when he grows up, etc.? Despite the unconditional love Rebecca gives towards Tommy MK II, what makes it provocative is the ever seemingly present sense of sexual attraction between Rebecca and the 2nd Tommy… even when he was a kid. Awkward… and of course when Tommy finally grows up and gets himself a girlfriend, things get really messy. The viewer feels sorry for Rebecca, yet wonders what is going to happen next.

What allows this to be delivered is a strong performance by Eva Green in the leading role. She transits gracefully from the initial hopefulness and naivety of her teenage years to an older self who’s probably confused with what to do and her feelings about this lie she’s been carrying out all those years. Matt Smith does just as admirable a job playing two roles, as the elder freewheeling Tommy whose best years ahead are about to be taken from him and the younger iteration, the immature teen who has no idea what is in store for him.

All in all, Womb is a beautiful film with lots of deep thought behind it. It’s the tragic story of the ultimate possessive lover who refuses to let go of her other half even after his death. And then she ends up being there for him throughout the entirety of his life… who else could possibly claim that? If you’re a bit of an idealist, you might even be piqued to raise thought provoking questions like whether we have the right to alter and create life as we want to and what rights we have to have control over someone else’s life, even if he is your flesh and blood. Sure it might have a few minor problems, like the beautiful Eva Green seemingly never aging through a twenty time span. However, underneath the shroud of controversy, there’s a solid plot with a haunting love story with an equally striking visual. Though as stated, it’s not for everyone except maybe art house cinema aficionados.

Womb opens in theatres Aug 11.

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