She Monkeys

"Excellent"

She Monkeys Review


With a bracing filmmaking style, this unflinching exploration of power and desire continually surprises us with its quietly revealing approach. The writing, direction and acting are all extraordinary.

Emma (Paradeiser) joins a vaulting team and is immediately intrigued by team member Cassandra (Molin), who offers to help her learn the ropes. But Cassandra's need to be in control is continually challenged by Emma's natural leadership abilities, and the sparks between them hint at both rivalry and attraction. Meanwhile, Emma's 8-year-old sister Sara (Lindquist) is having her own issues: when she's told she must start acting like an emerging woman, she takes it a bit too far. But then, neither of them has a helpful role model.

Aschen's quietly introspective filmmaking style is a bundle of insinuation, as the characters say more through silence than through the dialog. Small glances let us see how the power is shifting between the characters, as the film explores female roles in society in increasingly provocative ways. Emma and Sara live with their father (Merkusjev), so must figure these things out themselves in a society that sends confusing messages even to young girls. And this is intriguingly echoed in the way they are trying to teach their dog to be more obedient.

The cast is terrific, giving honest performances that are packed with suggestive moments and character insight. The actors beautifully underplay the complex sexual tension in every scene, including the shifting relationship between Emma and Cassandra, their charged tormenting of the nice boy Jens (Lundgren) and Sara's awkward advances on an older cousin (Vega). Watching the subtle interplay between the characters is riveting, and it's made even more engaging by a dry sense of humour that subtly grounds the extremely serious themes.

This is a powerful, involving story that says things about women, ambition and society that we rarely see on screen. Without ever being girly or simplistic, the cast and crew present characters and situations that reveal hard truths about society, while some extremely dark twists and turns in the plot give us sometimes uncomfortable insights into human nature. This is the kind of film that haunts us long after after the final credits.



She Monkeys

Facts and Figures

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd September 2011

Budget: 1

Distributed by: Unknown

Production compaines: Atmo Media Network

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lisa Aschen

Producer: Helene Lindholm

Starring: Mathilda Paradeiser as Emma, Linda Molin as Cassandra

Also starring:

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