A not so romantic love-story

So-call romance film leave audiences upset


Photo courtesy of IMDb

Actors Timothee Chalamet and Taylor Russell portraying characters Lee and Maren Yearly.

Bowie Zekpa, Staff Reporter

Famously known for his 2017 film “Call Me by Your Name,” Italian film director, producer and screenwriter Luca Guadagnino released the thriller and cannibalistic movie “Bones and All” based on the original novel by Camille DeAngelis on November 18, 2022.

The movie is set in 1980s Virginia, with main character Maren Yearly and her father living in a run down offset house. They attempt to lead normal lives until Maren makes a decision that changes the trajectory of how she’ll live forever. When her father can’t handle secrets anymore and abandons her, Maren has to try and get by, whilst also keeping a low cover. She must attempt to hide her cannibal urges though they are easy to disregard.

The film is definitely not for the faint of heart. It has themes of blood, gore and the overall plot of cannibalism. It grabs watchers by seeming like a regular coming-of-age movie. Maren seems to have a good life. The 18-year-old girl goes to high school, plays piano, and makes new friends while trying to adjust to her new school. Though maintaining normalcy for a decent amount of time, the movie quickly turns morbid. Maren realizes that no matter how fast she runs, her past will always be able to catch up.

Gaining traction and attention was no tricky thing for this film. With famous actor, Timothée Chalamet taking on the role of Lee, Maren’s cannibal love interest, many were excited to see him on screen and see the first film he helped produce. Working with director Luca was nothing new to the young actor. Chalamet was also famously known for his work in “Call Me by Your Name,” portraying the teenage hopeless-romantic main character, Elio Perlman. Chalamet’s excitement for the film was no less than attention grabbing. Advertising the movie on his social media repeatedly got people thrilled for the release.

The teenage growth and indie feel of the movie’s aura helped the movie connect with audiences and made it feel a lot more raw. The main characters Maren and Lee travel through rural areas like Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. The settings of the movie are a change of pace from big upcoming star movies that take place in big cities. It also helps keep viewers interested as the pace and surroundings are always changing. Each location they go to holds a different challenge and more secrets they uncover about themselves.

Though the feelings and experiences of the teenage characters read across well, one thing that turned away audiences was the glorification and almost acceptance of cannibalism. Advertised as more of a love-story, crowds were mildly distraught learning the real plot of the film. Along with the lack of background explaining why the cannibals are the way they are, the line of the gore connecting with the somewhat patchy storyline left many questions unanswered. The visual appeal of the backgrounds and lighting just wasn’t enough to make up for the inconsistent and constantly changing storyline.

Certain aspects of this movie can for sure be appreciated. Thinking about film technique and costume design can give it a few points. It had opportunities but overall just fell short of a good plot. It had a fine cookie-cutter outline of beginning, climax, conflict and decline, but the sequence of events in between wasn’t prominent enough. It wasn’t a complete fail and calling it all bad would be an overstatement. Sadly at best, it was mediocre.