Greetings again from the darkness. Everyone loves a good “How did you two meet?” story, and the best of these stories somehow makes the couple more interesting. It’s pretty tough to beat the meet-cute of Jude and Mina in the opening scene from writer/director Saverio Costanzo … even if it does take place in the tight and pungent confines of restaurant restroom. It’s a terrific start to a movie that has no real shot at getting better from there.
Jude (a terrific Adam Driver) and Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) fall right into bed and in love … directly from the outhouse. We catch glimpses of their romance, and quickly accept them as a well-suited, warm-yet-quirky couple. An unexpected pregnancy kicks off a gradual and troubling change in Mina. This change is turbo-charged once the baby arrives. Mina registers in the extreme of the mother’s instincts vs. modern medicine debate. She is all about purity for her baby – food and environment. There is nothing wrong with that, right? Well, when the baby doesn’t grow and develop, it’s understandable that the dad might freak a bit, no matter how understanding or trusting he claims to be.
The story becomes the unraveling of a once-promising relationship, as well as the unraveling of a once seemingly normal woman. With the tone of an early Roman Polanski movie, Costanzo’s film (from Marco Franzoso’s novel) has very real horror overtones, while playing out like a real life parenting drama … or a psychological thriller. The real turning point for Mina’s character seems to occur after a Psychic Reading where the Clairvoyant labels her baby as an Indigo child. Mina believes this and her psychotic actions create the intense worries of Jude and his mother (Roberta Maxwell).
With the current uproar of vaccinations, there is certainly a modern day link to the story line of mother’s instincts vs. doctor’s orders. But with a lawyer recommending kidnapping, and a triumvirate of desperate characters: father, mother, grandmother, there doesn’t seem to be much factual data here … rather it’s an effective scare tactic.
watch the trailer: