WHAT'S ON MUBI" IS A COLUMN WHERE I WILL WRITE ABOUT MOVIES THAT ARE CURRENTLY BROADCASTING ON THE MUBI STREAMING SERVICE .
No human is the same. Each of us has different characteristics, and there are many other human behaviors that we don't understand. We may not understand it because we don't know what motivates them to perform the behavior. Maybe also because we are not used to seeing that behavior. At Swallow , we look closely at behaviors that we may not normally encounter in everyday life: eating disorders or what they are better known as eating disorders .
Often we read on the internet, we never meet in real life. Eating disorders are diseases that we may not be able to understand because we don't have them, but they are real diseases that occur in some humans. Having several types, one of the eating disorders is "pica", an eating disorder in which a person will consume an object that is not food or something that is not to be digested. And that is also one of the themes in this film.
Swallow tells the story of a housewife who recently got married and is now pregnant early, Hunter (Haley Bennett). He spends everyday at home, setting new red curtains, playing video games on his smartphone . Her husband, Richie (Austin Stowell) is a typical man who likes to be controlling and inconsiderate, thus making Hunter become isolated both socially and activityally.
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One day Richie's mother, Katherine (Elizabeth Marvel) or her father-in-law Hunter, comes and gives Hunter a self-improvement book. In it he finds two sentences that might change his life and start all the events in the film. “Every day, try to do the unexpected. Encourage yourself to try new things. Either because of an impulse since reading that book or out of curiosity, he ate something that was not meant to be eaten, even though he himself was pregnant.
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Swallow forces his audience to come see what happened to Hunter. He put the marble in his mouth, tasted it, and swallowed it. For the first time, he was in control. His behavior is indeed unusual, even absurd . And it doesn't stop there. He finally continued eating the tacks that made his tongue bleed, then pins, and other small metal objects. She did so because she felt she was in control now, after previously she was usually controlled by other people, especially by her husband such as at dinner together where she forced Hunter to tell about an incident, only to be interrupted in the middle by her father Richie, Michael ( David Rasche).
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As the cliché but popular saying goes, "Don't judge people by their appearance," so is the character of this Hunter. Seeing his behavior, maybe we will also become confused, even emotions like her husband. Especially because she is pregnant. But the cleverness of this film is that with the story, we are increasingly seeing the reasons why Hunter did what he did. Increasingly, we are given insight as to why he did something unusual, by revealing Hunter's quite emotional past and ending with a quite touching scene at the end of the film. We may not be able to fully feel what Hunter felt, but if with his story we can understand what he went through and why he did it.
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Not only that, this film also touches on the theme of a wife's anxiety. Before marrying, he was not a rich man. However, since marrying Richie, he no longer needs to work and now lives in a luxurious house. Her life was a new lifestyle for her, and not only that, she now knew that she was going to become a mother. All this newness, along with her husband's unhelpful nature, curbed the Hunter and instead of feeling free, she felt that her life was always being controlled by someone, and that was one of the reasons why she ate something that was not to be eaten, because not only did it give the feeling that he is in control, but also for the sensation of breaking a rule. He wasn't even sure when asked why he did that,
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And what makes this film so lively and compelling is the stunning performance of Haley Bennett as the main character. In contrast to her character who has difficulty controlling the situation, Haley with every gaze that is between empty and full of meaning and every eccentric and confusing behavior, she is in full control of her character so that it really feels alive in the film and not just a character that exists. just to tell a story that has deep meaning. If not played with the right touch, the characters can easily become confusing or even annoying, but not these characters and players who give a deep enough appearance for a story that is not light-hearted.
Carlo Mirabella-Davis treats Hunter's eating disorder as not uncommon for humans, but as a coping mechanism that Hunter uses to deal with social pressure and his own past, even when he doesn't fully understand what he is doing himself. Yes, it might be a little annoying to see someone trying to swallow a nail, even though knowing it would hurt him. But we will also see and perhaps learn a little about why he did what he did, because after all what he did happened in the real world.
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