Violation – Review

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Violation is directed and written by two women, Madelaine Sims-Fewer (also filling the position of main actress) and Dusty Mancinelli, who have both recently made feature-length film debuts. Like Coralie Fargeat in Revenge, they both offer the psychic dynamics of the protagonist as a victim of rape. Top Movie Site

Her marriage to Caleb (Obi Abili) is in crisis, when Miriam (Madelaine Sims-Fewer) returns home to meet her sister, Greta (Anna Maguire), after years of separation. Greta herself marries Dylan (Jesse LaVercombe), who from various chats, seems to have known the siblings for a long time. Violation was built through chat. Many chats, thanks to the flexibility of the players, are presented realistically (to the point where they seem unscripted).

Many talk about past memories, the interactions are so smooth that they provoke further interest. The content seems trivial, for example about the strange poses of Miriam and Greta’s father while chopping wood, or the ridiculousness of their former mother. But that’s where the foundation is created, which helps the audience get to know the personal as well as the relationships between the characters. Miriam is a woman with problems, often getting into disputes with Greta, who has a tough personality. Meanwhile, Dylan is the type of man who can quickly get along with anyone.

Then after a midnight chat at a campfire involving alcohol, an outpouring of feelings, and a kiss, the rape ensues. There are no vulgar presentations, “just” some extreme close-ups of touching and touching skin. The film does not depict victims (read: women) in sexualized helplessness. On the other hand, later we will see the character of a man who looks helpless in a completely naked condition. From there, Violation reconstructs the formula for rape and revenge, not just exploiting women’s sexuality.

In addition, Sims-Fewer and Mancinelli also weave their stories using non-linear structures. Not only does it eliminate tedious waiting before the bloodshed, as did Gaspar Noé in Irréversible (2002), it reverses the structure of the narrative, in which (in part) acts of retaliation are presented before the rape, also keeps Violation away from the realm of exploitation. The focus of the audience is not waiting for revenge, but finding out why it was done. The audience is encouraged to observe the details of the incident, the mental condition of the protagonist, as well as the issue of sexual violence itself. Best Movie

Regarding the quantity of violence, although there is still blood, vomit, mutilation, and even cannibalism, Violation may not be brutal enough for viewers who are purely looking for the sadism typical of the revenge movie. But the purpose of the maker was not that. The impression of disturbing tends to appear in the mind rather than the eye, especially near the closing point, when we are provoked to imagine something the film implies regarding the method the character chooses to take revenge on.

Violation explores the inner conflict of the victim, describing how she felt from the time the rape took place, until after executing her retaliation. Sims-Fewer’s acting is on a similar path. The dynamics of his emotions are always in progress, from being shaken, confused, angry, sad, maybe even regretful after taking revenge, to finally “receiving”, which is also the victim’s victory point.

Unfortunately there is one problem, which is a post-rape scene, where Miriam comes close to committing similar harassment. It is true that he was shaken, but that is not an acceptable justification, especially in a film that sided with the victim of rape. Maybe that’s Violation’s way of portraying the complexity of the issue? Beyond the irony when fellow women even participate in blaming the victim, maybe that is how Sims-Fewer and Mancinelli describe reality if the victim is not a perfect figure? I use the word “maybe”, because there is never any clarity, which ultimately distracts the important message of the film. Movie Review

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