“The world of love wants no monsters in it.”Janelle
Luca Guadagnino’s dark road trip drama — divided not by chapters but by two-letter State abbreviations — follows Maren’s journey to learn about her past which leads her to meet Lee, a hustler fuelled by the same dark hunger which resides in her. Taylor Russell is immediately captivating, drawing us into Maren’s reality with the adolescent confusion of newfound desires, and the sense of losing control. Although violence is frequent, Bones and All doesn’t revel in gore, showing just enough to be disquieting before the camera shifts, lingering instead on the perpetrators in the messy aftermath with crimson-soaked clothes or Chalamet’s sharp jaw and neck stained in faded red matching the dyed tips of his hair. These are blue collar monsters in the vein of Near Dark, transient and trying to survive in a world that neither sees nor cares for them. It is suggested that most of their kind stay isolated because being around others forces you to see yourself, a stark counterpoint to Three Thousand Years of Longing’s desire to be seen. Chalamet is a slightly odd fit for Lee, his presence will no doubt attract viewers but the light swagger of his performance conflicts with a character burdened by trauma that he refuses to share. Guadagnino has a consummate skill for presenting deep connections that feel somehow doomed, although Bones and All lacks the perfectly controlled pacing of Call Me By Your Name — it meanders too long toward a conclusion that is hurried and unsatisfying.
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