I am still processing this experience, which was watching Saltburn. I don’t think I’ve been so traumatised yet intrigued in my life. This movie knows exactly how to draw in your whole attention, wrap you around its finger, and play with your emotions the whole film. Emerald Fennell did an outstanding job bringing this exaggerated story to life and making it so intense and raw that it mirrored reality so indistinguishably.⠀
There were so many details that moulded this film into feeling so true, and as a British teen going into my 20s next year, I think they definitely captured the snobby side of Britain and, more importantly, the culture that comes with it. I can’t explain the number of times I either was smiling at the scripts naturally or shouting ‘TUNE’ whenever a song would come on. I must say, though, you know a film has creeped me out if I’m not singing along to ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’; I always sing along to ‘Murder on the Dance Floor.’⠀
The cinematography, aesthetics, and mise-en-scene are absolutely breathtaking in this film. The 4:3 ratio, in my mind, was such an ideal choice; it makes this massive world seem trapped in this little box, trying to push its way out, and this just adds to the overall tension of the film; we instantly find it humbling this world. The symbolism in the costuming I also would like to see done at Halloween next year. That one shot of Felix with his wings had me in a chokehold; I have a love for Greek mythology references in movies, and seeing him almost like Icarus and Oliver, almost like a minotaur or devil in the maze, just told me so much more about their characters. The color palette, too, made it one of the most visually beautiful films I’ve watched. Many shots reminded me of a lot of euphoria, and that’s a compliment in every way. A24 can really pick their movies and make them works of art that visually feed the audience.
Now, onto the main element of the film that completely swept me off my feet, and that was the performances. Especially the performance by Barry Keoghan that has you engrossed in every minute of the film. Yes, the plot is amazing and full of twists and turns, which just had me in complete and utter shock, but these actors transformed the film. Every scene felt like there were hundreds of layers to it, that it wasn’t only one emotion or drive. Jacob Elordi could have made his character a very stereotypical high-class teen, who is just a complete dick and has the whole world under his nose (we’re really seeing his range, especially with the difference between this role and Priscilla.) However, he has moments where he is sinister and childish, as well as other emotions that juxtapose the typical character we know. However, by the end of the movie, we still don’t know what to think of him because of one factor…⠀
Ollie. Barry Keoghan manipulates and tricks the audience throughout the whole film; yes, we can say that we could predict a few of his lies, but it is a complete shock that we hadn’t known his character since the beginning of the film. We were under his impression, like the rest of the characters. I find this fascinating because now the film has ended, it has altered my thoughts on the other characters and how maybe we were manipulated to look at them differently, too. We could have a romanticized version of the family or a villainized one, due to what Oliver wants us to feel. Keoghan was captivating in all ways; he really knows how to play awkward well and cause you to cringe, but then he transforms his whole being and has so much power, control, and dominance over the screen.⠀
I will be thinking about this film for weeks.⠀
What did you think of Saltburn? Do you think there might be an award in its future?