Ti West’s ‘Pearl’ Is A Beautiful American Nightmare – The Cavalier Daily

The “star is born” narrative has become an American mythology in its own right – a young girl is torn from her monotonous life to share her talents and live among the stars. It’s the dream that Hollywood has been broadcasting since its inception – its own iteration of the original American Dream.

Ti West’s new psychological horror film ‘Pearl’ – co-written by lead actress Mia Goth – twists that image of fame, as it follows a troubled young woman who is obsessed with those fairy tales of fame. to nightmarish ends.

In Ti West’s ‘X’ movie from earlier this year, Goth was stunned as she took on the dual role of Maxine – a wide-eyed girl who would do anything to make it big – and a jealous, murderous old woman. who longed for her young hope named Pearl. Goth’s riveting interpretation of both characters left a lingering sense that these women were a dark mirror of each other, destined to be destroyed by the same desires.

“Pearl” takes the villainous antagonist of “X” back in time to when she was as fresh and hopeful as Maxine in an effort to figure out what really makes her tick.

In 1918, Pearl is the daughter of a farmer who worries about the mediocrity of her life. Her husband is away fighting the Great War and she is forced to stay home with her controlling mother, played by Tandi Wright, and her father, played by Matthew Sunderland, who has fallen seriously ill. Her only recluse is the “pictures” – the first silent films she can briefly marvel at when she goes to town.

More than anything, she believes she’s special and deserves to be on that screen, dancing like the stars. After all, Pearl is different from the rest, but not because of her dancing skills. In reality, she struggles with increasingly powerful murderous tendencies that make her feel intensely isolated from others.

Despite this grim content, Eliot Rockett’s incredible cinematic work transforms the world of “Pearl” into a technicolor wonderland, reminiscent of classic Hollywood adventures like “The Wizard of Oz” in the most ominous way possible. . Every color jumps off the screen in vivid hues – a nice effect that becomes unsettling in the film’s violent moments.

That daydreaming feeling is also heightened by West’s creative directorial work. Through the eyes of his camera, everything about “Pearl” looks like a demented theatrical production – perfectly placed and centered. This hyper-realistic beauty of the film’s technical elements provides a glimpse of how Pearl herself is losing her grip on reality.

What really ties this nostalgic and theatrical feel together is the beautiful score by Tyler Bates and Tim Williams. Its classic orchestral sounds paint even the darkest pictures with an eerily romantic tone. This both establishes the idealized historical setting and reflects Pearl’s inner world of escape in a fascinating way.

When viewers see Pearl imagining her dream life, she sees herself starring in gritty film footage for adoring audiences. It’s one of the first historical moments where large-scale cinematic stardom solidifies as a concept, continuing the thematic emphasis on fame that was introduced in “X” by tracing its origins.

As its name suggests, “Pearl” is a character piece more than anything else. This focus on the main character puts a lot of weight on Goth’s shoulders, but it carries it beautifully. The odd persona can shift between charming naivety and intense aggression, but Goth portrays these transitions with natural ease. She’s able to find the melodramatic humor in the film’s greatest moments while providing incredible emotional nuance in the film’s most intimate moments.

“Pearl” lacks the dramatic, creepy moments of a classic slasher film, but is instead capable of accomplishing something more awe-inspiring. It develops a unique and disconcerting tone that follows the viewer throughout the film. This sinister feeling culminates in the film’s unique and heartbreaking final credits.

West’s fantastical, period-specific stylization and Goth’s tour de force performance crystallized “Pearl” as a memorable horror villain for the ages, which, in a way, gives Pearl herself the edge. immortality she always dreamed of.

Comments are closed.