Film Review: Honeymoon (2014) #NetflixReview #Honeymoon @HarryTreadaway_ @RLeslieSource

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I am a huge and borderline obsessive Game of Thrones fan. I mean, I don’t dress up and go to the conventions. And my bookshelf doesn’t boast a crumbling copy of David J. Peterson’s book Living Language Dothraki. But it certainly can’t be healthy for a 35 year old man to be repeatedly kept awake at night by an almost endless stream of fantasies where he inhabits the Game of Thrones universe as a key protagonist. How would I react if my dragons—-Wake up, Bryan, you pathetic manchild, and smell the early onset midlife crisis!

Given that context, it is very surprising to me that I somehow missed 2014’s Honeymoon starring as it does GOT‘s very own Ygritte, a.k.a., the ridiculously lovely Rose Leslie.

Leslie and co-star Harry Treadaway play head-over-heels-in-love newlyweds, Bea and Paul, who just can’t keep their hands off each other. We join them as they start their honeymoon in Paul’s family cabin in the woods. Our leads give believable albeit slightly off-centre performances, but their quirkiness brilliantly foreshadows the disturbing story to come. Paul wakes up to find Bea sleepwalking alone in the woods. Things start to fall apart quickly for the young couple as it becomes clear that something very bad happened that night.

But what happened in the woods that night? And what is happening to them now? The film never fully spells the answers out. There are many possible interpretations. Mine is extraterrestrial rape. And I think when read as an alien abduction film, Honeymoon surely ranks as the most terrifying examples of the genre that I have ever seen. Indeed, if alien abductions really do happen, this film paints a deeply convincing picture of the literally alien / otherly horror of that experience. Although I repeat: the interpretation of what happened is very open.

However, don’t get bogged down in the specifics of what actually happened to Bea. The events, alien rape or otherwise, are merely an incidental device to explore what can happen to a healthy and seemingly rock solid relationship when one partner is violated in some way. The actual violation could be viewed as unwanted pregnancy or perhaps the loss of one’s self to an illness such as Alzheimer’s. But I think this film pretty clearly had rape in mind. None-the-less, I don’t wish to suggest that this film was meant as an allegory of rape or some other specific traumatic violation. But merely that it examines a relationship after having undergone a (any) traumatic violation.

A brilliant and deeply unsettling film that gave me repeated goosebumps and made me shiver endlessly.

© 2017-2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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BTW I Told You So (Game of Thrones) #GoT #Doggerelizer

 

By the way, I told you so. About the ending of Game of Thrones, I mean. I had been telling my mates that we would not get the happy ending to Game of Thrones that some wanted (I say “some”, because I wanted it to end badly for our heroes, as befitting both the aesthetic of the show and my own misanthropic tendencies). I’ve just found some proof that I wasn’t merely lying about having foretold key aspects of the ending like everyone else who claimed they “knew all along” how it would end. See my post from September 2017 that I’ve just stumbled upon having forgotten I’d written it. Particularly note my following predictions.

Daenerys dying… Dany going schitz on power / refusing to bend the knee to Jon.

I just think that [a happy ending] would not suit the world that’s been built up. Even if things end “well” (= white walkers and Cersei being killed, some good guys staying alive), I can’t see everyone remaining unscathed. One or more of Dany, Jon, Arya, Sansa have to die, and die horribly.

So I was right about one those characters dying, about Daenerys definitely dying, about Daenerys definitely refusing to bend the knee to Jon, and about Daenerys definitely going mad with power. It was obviously the ways things had been going as Dany had been getting increasingly haughty. This is why I just cannot understand the people who passionately argue that the writers just ruined her character in order to be all twisty; guys, Dany’s arc had been becoming clear for seasons, her ultimate descent being fairly well foreshadowed. What really happened is not bad writing, but that people did want to see the increasingly obvious because this went against their own desires for a Spielbergian ending where Dany and Jonnie have little Targeristarkling sprogs and live Happily Ever After.

I’m not saying the final season or its writing was perfect. I certainly think some of my ideas for the final season, as outlined in that post, were particularly good, and would have been great additions to Season 8. My favourite ideas of my own include:

  • The Dothraki go nuts and start raping and pillaging which turns the layfolk against the Dany-Jon biumvirate, perhaps necessitating Jon or Sansa to backstab;
  • Ned Stark, or anyone of our other favourite dead characters, coming back in white walker form for an emotional, zombie-esque, ‘I don’t know if I can kill you! I still see the real you in that skelly shell!’ moment of emotional, heart-tugging drama;
  • The white walkers taking over and destroying Westeros / the World;
  • The good guys win a Pyrrhic victory; Westeros is so ruined by everything that there isn’t much of a world to rule over now. And the weakened Pyrrhic victors, are left open to attack from foreign marauders … just then, some crazy mothers from Essos appear in their ships on the horizon, dun dun dun! End of the world as we know it. End of Series.

But that is a whole other post discussing what I felt was good and bad about Season Eight, and what opportunities I feel the creators expertly delivered on and failed to deliver on. But this post is about something different: about how I WAS RIGHT about Daenerys.

© 2019 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Game of Thrones Season 5 Thoughts [SPOILERS!!!]

gameofthrones5

I’m a massive fan of the show Game of Thrones. Yet despite being a bookworm, I’m not ashamed to say I haven’t read the books. I just don’t have time or the staying-power for 1,770,000 words (and counting). But maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t read them; I’m coming to the series with fresh eyes.

Season 5 finished last night. Summing it up in a single word is easy: bleak. Depressing works quite well, too.

Whereas in previous seasons the characters were able to carve out small green spaces for themselves in a vast desert wilderness — be it the “normal” loving family moments in the Stark household, the nobles all getting behind the true “King in the North”, or the tender love affairs such as Tyrion and Shea’s — this season is just dark, dark, bleak, dark, depressing, gloomy, and dark.

It may be Season 5 of a probable 8, but I feel that only now are we well and truly into Act II: all the characters we’re rooting for (those who still have their heads, that is) are at their lowest ebb, it would appear. And winter is almost come.

More good guys are dead, loss of purpose and morale for others, rape of innocents, child sacrifice, favourite characters going blind or catching incurable diseases, and a general sense that everything is pretty much effed up.

But the most depressing thing about Game of Thrones Season 5 is: I have to wait a whole year for Season 6!!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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