Pssst, want to check out Men in our new look?
See all comments
Though Alex Garland's subject matter remains much the same with Men, he ditches science-fiction for horror-fantasy, or perhaps for magical realism, depending on how you interpret things. Many elements point to an interior journey for the wonderful Jessie Buckley, but others ground the story in some kind of tangible reality involving the Green Man of folklore (a male-presenting fertility god, natch). However Harper is being haunted, whether psychologically or factually, this is a film that, in addition to having stellar cinematography and sound design, has rich thematic texture. Harper has just come out of a toxic relationship, and on her solitary getaway, can't get away from all these men and their aggressions, micro-aggressions and patriarchal attitudes. That they're all played by Rory Kinnear is something never commented on (which adds to the film's subjectivity), but slashes at the phrase "Not All Men". It's perhaps a little on the nose and silly, but part of a greater tapestry. "Blaming women" for their sexuality is mentioned many time, with references to Eve and Helen of Troy among the more subtle cues. What provokes this attack on Harper is nothing at all - she is not sexualized (quite the opposite) and the "trigger" seems to be a moment of peace and delight for her, i.e. just a woman existing in the world. I rate this film highly, but audiences may have a hard time resolving all the ambiguities to their satisfaction. Or alternatively, finding it a big blunt in its messaging. I prefer to see it as a tone poem about this particular kind of trauma, where everything relates to its theme in some way, and have no problem imagining "what just happened".
All men in Men were played by one man
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!