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Review of the drama-thriller about two young cannibals, ‘Bones and All’
‘BONES and All’ is a film about cannibals directed by Luca Guadagnino, the Italian director who is well-loved by critics. He’s best known for his acclaimed Desire trilogy: “I Am Love” (2009), “A Bigger Splash” (2015) and “Call Me By Your Name” (2017).
His HBO 2020 mini-series “We Are Who We Are” was also acclaimed by critics. Now, his latest movie, “Bones and All”, also got raves from critics, and we don’t know why. The film is based on the 2015 novel by Camille DeAngelis and about two young cannibals who meet while fleeing from their respective homes.
In 1960, there was a film titled “All the Fine Young Cannibals” starring Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, but it’s a conventional romance and nothing like this which is set in Virginia in the 1980s. Maren Yearly (Taylor Russell, “Escape Room”) and her dad (Andre Holland) had to leave their home when Maren fails to restrain her urges and bites a classmate’s finger.
They go to Maryland and when Maren turned 18, her dad leaves her to be on her own. It’s revealed that she was only 3 years old when she ate and killed her babysitter. Since then, she cannot control her cannibalistic urges and there were other episodes.
Maren decides to look for her mother in Minnesota who earlier abandoned them. On her way there, she meets an older man who is also an eater, Sully (Mark Rylance), who claims to know her scent and takes her to the home of an old woman who’s about to die. They both eat her.
Sully seems to be interested in having a relationship with her but she escapes from him. In Indiana, she meets Lee (Timothy, also the star of “Call Me By Your Name”), who ate an obnoxious man who is earlier seen harassing a woman. He gets his victim’s truck and they travel together to make this a road movie.
They go to Lee’s hometown in Kentucky and Maren meets Lee’s younger sister who doesn’t know he’s an eater and is curious why he is always moving around. Maren finally gets to find her mom Janelle (Chloe Sevigny) in a mental hospital.
She discovers that her mom is also an eater who has consumed both of her hands. Her mom tries to attack her but she manages to get away. Lee confesses that his own dad is also an eater who tried to eat him so he ate his dad first.
We really cannot understand why lots of reviewers praised this for its “thought provoking romantic idealism.” Paki-explain nga po dahil wala kaming makitang ganyan sa movie. Others are praising the fine chemistry between the two leads na, sorry po, hindi rin namin makita.
The stomach-churning subject matter of graphic cannibalism is actually grisly and off putting. We don’t know if Guadagnino is trying to make cannibalism a metaphor for something else but, seriously, he failed.
We don’t even get invested or sympathize with his flesh-eating characters who understandably live in the fringes of society. It seems this movie is trying to do for cannibals what the “Twilight” series did for vampires, but it just failed big time.
The movie is just plain boring, needlessly meandering for more than two hours. We know Chalamet has lots of fans who think he’s delicious enough to eat, but honestly this uncompelling film wouldn’t help his career. He better stick to “Dune”. Here, he was effortlessly eaten alive by the scenery-chewing Mark Rylance as Sully. But his fans might want to eat him, “Bones and All”.