Morvern Callar

I’m not quite sure how this film ended up on my Lovefilm list, but it did. I assume I was attempting to work my way through some of Lynne Ramsey’s work and had this recommended to me. Admittedly, I’ve not done a good job of working through Ramsey’s work, what with not even having seen Ratcatcher yet, but I do remember the first time I saw her short Gasman. I thought that it was brilliant and had a profound effect on the way I examine my own screenwriting.


So…Morvern Callar. It’s possible that I just wasn’t quite in the mood for this flick. There are plenty of films that I’ve seen in the cinema that if I’d seen at home, I’d have paused halfway through and gone to get a cuppa/stiff drink. This is completely unfair to the film, and some of my favourite films I only came to thanks to a cinema viewing. That aside….I found this film dull. I appreciate the work behind it, and it was certainly beautifully photographed, but I found it difficult to emphathise with a character whose motivations I could never work out. I don’t demand that everything make sense from the start  – I think the best advice I’ve heard regarding viewing from my course so far is: “For the first 10 minutes, assume that the playwright/screenwriter/director is a genius.” Apart from maybe extending that to 20 minutes, I feel that that sentiment is spot on.

With Morvern Callar, I did exactly that. The opening scenes are engaging, and set up both the character and the rest of the film perfectly. She is there, lying by a dead body, unemotional, unfazed. I can see a screenwriter somewhere screaming that a person would react differently to having (and, it turns out LEAVING) a body in the house, but Morvern is, at best, mostly disconnected from the world around her, and at worst I’ve heard theories of Aspergers. But that’s on IMDB and doesn’t really count.

The trouble with this film is basically that it asks you to invest a lot of time with this one woman, but gives you no real insight into her life. The tone, scene length and character action are all very similar throughout. Even a glimpse of some humour would’ve brought me more on side. I might just be wanting from the film something different to what it was offering. Maybe I should watch it again. I’d rather rewatch The Passenger.

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