Plot – Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way, she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past – The Nightingale.
Director – Jennifer Kent
Starring – Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr
Released – 2018
While I found The Babadook a smart but difficult watch, I could understand why its love so, and I was still excited to see what Jennifer Kent was going to do next. This turned out to be The Nightingale, A movie that much like The Babadook is a harrowing watch, whilst also filled with plenty of social commentary, but unlike her horror debut, this time this initiative director gives us a revenge film like no other, reminiscent of the Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino if crossed with Robert Eggers The Witch.
Right from the off, The Nightingale is going to split viewers because of its unflinching, violent nature. Repeatedly subjecting you too hard to watch sequences, including the brutal abuse, rape and the murder of men, women and children. It’s clear that Kent wanted to make this uncomfortable yet engorging viewing. And mostly, she succeeds.
The acting throughout is outstanding, the most memorable of which belongs to Franciosi, who proves to be a terrific lead. Wonderfully showing the determination and strength that her character developed after the death of her family and the lengths she would go to, to avenge this injustice. It’s because of her I became glued to the story and wanted to see where the events took this character.
There are however some issues with the film, namely it’s pacing, with the characters spending two-thirds of the movie trekking through bland and repetitive wilderness. if it wasn’t for the powerful acting from Aisling Franciosi and a stubbornness to see justice, I would have soon lost interest in this movie.
While not an easy watch, The Nightingale is a brutal story, that’s incredibly well portrayed, though might put some viewers off because of the dark subject-matter and slow pace, but is worth watching at least once for the performance of Aisling Franciosi alone.
If you liked: The Wind, Blue Ruin, Ma