Don Reviews "The Beguiled"
I have always been fascinated by the Civil War because I am actually a descendant of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who is the uncle of my great, great, great grandmother. As we know, the Civil War was a time that tested this country’s resolve and is considered by some to be the most studied war in this country’s history.
“The Beguiled” is the new film directed by Sofia Coppola (The Bling Ring, La Traviata) and stars Collin Farrell (SWAT, Phone Booth), Nicole Kidman (Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!), Kirsten Dunst (Drop Dead Gorgeous, Hidden Figures), Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Super 8), Oona Laurence (Southpaw, Bad Moms), Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys, Transmission), Addison Riecke (The Thundermans, The Haunted Hathaways), and Emma Howard (Chasing Shadows, Transparent). Set in 1864 Virginia, Amy (Laurence) is out picking flowers and comes across a wounded Union soldier named John (Farrell), whom she takes him back to her girls’ school, led by Martha (Kidman) and Edwina (Dunst), and attended by their five students whose ages range from young to late teens in age. They help John heal his leg and then they plan to turn him over to the confederate soldiers when he is well enough. Over time, all seven of the women start to get attracted to John and wind up competing to get his affection. As he returns his affection to one of them, they all deal with the fallout in their own ways.
The film takes place at one location only, in big house with lots of land on that big southern plantation mansion we all tend to see in our heads. It is also historically correct in the sets and props, and when it comes to the acting, the cast does well as is the norm with Kidman, Farrell, and Dunst. Kidman does well as the lead as the headstrong lady dealing with a tough situation, putting the care and well-being of the girls first.
I did like the plot overall, with a run time of about ninety minutes long, showing life in the Civil War. (MINOR SPOILER ALERT AHEAD) In the trailer, it seems like after John is caught having romance with one of the students, they turn evil and vindictive on him in a “Misery” kind of way, which peaked my interest before seeing it, but that is very misleading. The film goes in a totally different direction, which to me is false advertising on a bigger scale. Keeping that in mind, I still did like the film due to its historic accuracy and interesting story, so I will recommend this film as a Redbox rental.