I don’t normally do reviews for movies I see on Netflix or Amazon Prime. In this case, I was really more intrigued than anything that this movie (helmed by Emma Watson) basically went straight to video/on-demand. This is the second movie of Ms. Watson’s I’ve stumbled onto on-demand, the other being Regression (which had an interesting concept, but that’s pretty much the only interesting thing about it).
The movie is billed as a woman joining a cult for the man she loves. This doesn’t quite explain everything, as I soon found out. Lena (played by Ms. Watson) works for Lufthansa in 1973 and surprises her boyfriend, Daniel (played by Daniel Bruhl) who lives in Chile, during a time of unrest. Daniel is an artist and is part of the revolution. He gets caught up with police rounding people up and ends up getting beaten and taken to a cult/camp. Lena goes to his revolutionary friends, but they’re too scared to help. She decides (for reasons that I’m still not sure about) that she’ll go save him by joining said cult. What transpires over the next hour plus is about what you’d expect in a cult. The leader is a would-be mouthpiece of God and he is helped by those that have been brainwashed by his blather. There is a wonderfully evil matron-type that goes to great lengths to mess with everyone, and I did quite enjoy watching Lena bash her in the face with a 2x4 towards the end of the movie.
While this movie won’t wow you into submission by the acting or the set pieces, considering it is free, and helmed by some weighted stars, I’m still trying to figure out how I never got the chance to see this in the theatre, because I would have. It was nice having it on demand, as I could fast forward over the beatings in the beginning. I was quite surprised by Ms. Watson’s range in this movie. In the recent past, most of the movies she’s been in post-Potter have been supporting roles. In this movie, she is the central character, a strong, determined young woman. It is almost a perfect fit to the message she’s sending through her HeforShe campaign. If you have about two hours to kill, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.