Wednesday 3 January 2024

REVIEW: Saltburn (2023 Film) - Starring Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike and Richard E. Grant

Review by Jon Donnis
Emerald Fennell's "Saltburn" is a rollercoaster ride through the eccentricities of early-2000s England, blending black comedy with psychological thrills. The film, centered around a university student's obsession with a wealthy peer, takes unexpected turns that leave audiences both disturbed and captivated. The stellar cast, led by Barry Keoghan's compelling performance as Oliver Quick, contributes to the movie's intensity.

The plot unfolds as Oliver, a scholarship student, is invited to spend the summer at his friend Felix Catton's family estate, Saltburn. The film's dark undertones are reminiscent of classics like "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Brideshead Revisited," creating an atmosphere of suspense and unpredictability.

The narrative dives into Oliver's disturbing infatuation with Felix, leading to shocking and depraved actions that challenge the audience's sensibilities. The film masterfully explores themes of wealth, jealousy, sex, and misfortune, providing a unique and twisted perspective on the dark side of privilege.

The movie's strength lies in its intense atmosphere, fueled by a haunting soundtrack and the exceptional performances of the cast. Barry Keoghan's portrayal of Oliver Quick is particularly noteworthy, capturing the character's disturbing descent into obsession and manipulation. The supporting cast, including Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, and Alison Oliver, complements the film's unsettling tone.

"Saltburn" is not for the faint-hearted, as it delves into taboo subjects with a raw and unapologetic approach. The film's weird and depraved nature, coupled with its strong stomach-churning moments, sets it apart from conventional psychological thrillers.

While the film's portrayal of British nobility may carry some clichés, the overall impact of "Saltburn" transcends these criticisms. The narrative weaves an intricate web of deception, leaving the audience questioning the boundaries between reality and illusion.

In conclusion, "Saltburn" is a daring cinematic experience that challenges conventional storytelling norms. Despite its unconvincing moments and occasionally clichéd characterizations, the film's intensity, unique plot twists, and outstanding performances make it a must-watch for those who appreciate dark and unconventional cinema. I thoroughly enjoyed "Saltburn" and would give it a solid 8 out of 10, praising its audacity and the lingering impact it leaves on the viewer.

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