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Oscar Winners 2024: Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos

Updated: Mar 31

One of the funniest movies I have seen to date that is wrapped in so many metaphors that I lost count. Poor Things 2023 reminded me of R K Narayan's The Dark Room which describes the plight of a woman in an arranged marriage where the husband cheats and the woman has no option but to bear it. These times are of course long gone...


Poor Things 2024 movie review

That being said, I am not an activist but a movie critic, and as one, I couldn't be more thrilled with a movie. Amazing performances, skillful portrayal of difficult scenarios, and churning comedy from tragedy make this movie a great watch.



The Plot of Poor Things 2023


Here Yorgos Lanthimos directs Emma Stone playing Bella Baxter, the pregnant woman who jumps to her death. Bella is fished out of the river in which she died and reanimated with the brain of the child she is carrying.


What follows is the hilarious antics of an infant in a woman's body, which is a metaphor for every child raised without any awareness of the realities of society. Considering I have seen such a metaphor play out many times in real life is a gross understatement.



Bella Baxter is eventually revealed to be married to a person named Alfie Blessington ( what? ) who is sadistic which drives her to suicide. At the start of the movie, the body horror put me off, especially Dr. Godwin Baxter's face which makes Frankenstein look like Brad Pitt. After an hour of such body horror, both displayed and implied, I started getting into the story.



None of the psychological aspects in this movie are subtle, where Bella calls her foster father "God" (shortened from Godwin) and the brain switcheroo. This may hint at the psychological tendency of how women choose men closest to their fathers as husbands.


Also, the brain switch part hints at how children of helicopter parents depend on them all their lives. There is also the aspect of co-dependency that carries on from parents to partners along with generational trauma. All this is just what is most obvious. There are so many more layers to this.


When Bella Baxter is proposed to by "God"win's apprentice, Bells runs away with a debaucherously inclined lawyer who uses her for hedonistic ends. Bella, while traveling throughout the world with the lewd lawyer learns of the world and its inequities.



How the rich and poor remain pitted against each other due to societal norms, blah blah blah, and the inherent suffering in the world, blah blah blah...


As Bella travels, her earnest attitude toward the complexities of life makes things laugh out loud funny. Bella even stumbles upon prostitution, learning the ropes in one of the oldest professions in the world. Meanwhile, the lewd lawyer goes mad trying to keep Bella faithful to him.


However, the ending of the movie, even if predictable is satisfying and gives the audience much-needed closure.



The Cast


The best performances are unexpectedly from the familiar faces of William Dafoe as Dr. Godwin Baxter, Emma Stone as Bella Baxter, Mark Ruffalo as the lewd lawyer, and Margaret Qualley as Felicity as the sequel to Bella. Ramy Youssef and Jerrod Carmichael also deliver good performances as Max McCandles the apprentice and Harry Astley the traveler.



Emma Stone steals the show with her performance as the child trapped in a woman's body. This might also partially be because of the massive screen time she gets. Mark Ruffalo plays the part of a lewd lawyer all too well and William Dafoe obviously nailed his role without any effort showing. I mean after the Green Goblin, this must have been a piece of cake.



Cinematography




The cinematography has been handled skillfully in this movie with everything shown from the eyes of Bella Baxter. The world without Bella is shown to be in black and white however when it comes to the perspective of Bella Baxter it is in glorious technicolor as said by the Time Merchant in a Lost in Space episode.



She sees everything with the amazement of a child, therefore everything is shown as a crayon drawing or a painting done by a child. Also whenever she feels restricted by society the camera shows a narrow circular view of the world as if seen through an aperture.





Should You Watch Poor Things 2023? Yes!


Unless you are watching Poor Things with your children or your parents, I highly recommend it. If you have progressive parents or are a progressive parent yourself with a child over the age of 18, then go right ahead!


But do watch this movie, it is cinema that makes a difference while telling a story that matters with a message.


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