Alice, Darling: A Bad Romance

Karle Johnson, Staff writer

Alice, Darling, Mary Nighy’s feature film, is a simple drama about getting caught in the riptide of a bad romance. Alice (Anna Kendrick) is hiding an abusive partner, Simon (Charlie Carrick), beneath her smile, a truth revealed in a series of awkward conversations, guilt trips, and behavior such as pulling out her hair and panic attacks. For her worried friends, her relationship’s red flags are as obvious as flashing billboard signs, but Alice ignores them as if they’re her partner’s love language. Outsiders, such as her friends and viewers, may recognize the signs, but Alice is still accomplishing the mental gymnastics of validating his controlling demands on her body, attention, and time as love and affection. She’s taken a defensive stance, unable to see the harm Simon’s behavior has caused her. Nighy casts a generous balance between these points of view. Almost every interaction or glance between friends or lovers feels like a hostage situation. What should be romantic moments for the young couple are frequently harsh rounds of emotional and verbal abuse. The situation’s tension is put into every aggressive setup between the two or how detached Alice appears and feels from her friends. Even when Simon isn’t physically present on the scene, the effects of his presence are noticeable. Thanks to cinematographer Mike McLaughlin, the haziness in Alice’s relationship dominates the film’s aesthetics. Alice’s world appears to be a little more gray than her friends’, as if she only goes outside on cloudy and rainy days. Kendrick, embraces the feeling of latching to someone harmful. Kendrick’s performance is a far cry from her usual bubbly screen persona. One of the highlights of Alice, Darling‘ is Kendrick’s performance. They create an emotional portrait of someone on the verge of being lost to a warped distortion of love, but who realizes they were surrounded by the real thing the entire time. For every terrible comment Simon makes about her, her friends are attempting to revive the person they knew. That suspense makes for good drama, but it takes the sensitivity of the cast to make it feel as genuine as it does. It’s like taking your first breath of fresh air after holding it underwater when the credits roll. I personally loved this movie while I watched it and thought it was very well made and put together. On a one to ten scale I’d have to give it a nine. This movie is also rated at an eighty three percent on Rotten Tomatoes so others seemed to like this movie too. It comes out to be an hour and thirty minutes long and was directed by Mary Nighy. I recommend this if you’re looking for something interesting and suspenseful to watch.