Geek Review: Mandy

I’ve got a video queued up for Friday’s weekly YouTube Selection that talks about Nicolas Cage’s acting style and how it may be brilliant.

So, with that in mind, and because I had no desire to go outside on a day when the temperature barely peeked above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, here’s a review for Mandy.

Cage stars as Red Miller, a lumberjack who lives in a cabin with his girlfriend Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough).  Their life together is quiet and idyllic despite talk of both having traumatic pasts.  Then, one day, Mandy is walking through the forest when she’s spotted by a passing cult whose leader decides she has to be the newest member.  The cult then breaks into Red and Mandy’s cabin and try to take her.  Red will not take this well.

Cage is in top form in his usual somewhat unhinged manner.  Heck, the movie takes advantage of his general weirdness here.  He owns this movie.  Until the third act, he looks particularly schlubby and disheveled, a nice match for Riseborough’s own rather ordinary appearance (few of these characters in this film look movie star beautiful if any).

Beyond that, this is one weird movie.  It’s set in 1983 and recalls one of the stranger beliefs of the 80s, namely the proliferation of satanic cults involved in mass kidnappings.  Furthermore, Mandy’s art and t-shirt tends towards the sort of stuff found on  heavy metal album covers, and the movie seems inclined to match that style.  Much of the movie is colored either blue or red, blue being representative of calm and good times while red represents blood and violence.  Heck, Cage’s character is even named “Red”.  The soundtrack sounds pretty metal as well.

Plus, it sure does look like every character in the movie (with only a handful of exceptions) and possibly the entire crew were possibly on drugs.  For the characters, it’s obvious.  We see them toke up or snort something.  For the crew, well, it may be more implied.  This is seriously one of the trippiest and most surreal movies I’ve seen in a long time.  You have to see this one to believe it.  9 out of 10 sudden tiger sightings.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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