In the cinema you always learn something about the world and the creatures that populate it. For example, apparently there are young women who are not allowed to choose their spouse freely because their parents decide about it. Or that some young women may not fulfill their sexual and professional wishes, because there are religions that forbid them to do so. Or those whose vital and business value is to unconditionally submit to the wishes of capital. And those who are socially expelled because they do not conform to prevailing body standards. Heard of something like that before? Crazy, right? What is there in the world!
If you want to know more hot news, you should definitely visit Paradise Hills in the cinema. The debut film of 29-year-old Spaniard Alice Waddington wants to drive out the audience girl stereotypes with girl stereotypes. You could almost assume a feminist, enlightening idea behind it. It is particularly interesting in this film, live on the screen and in a lot of color to witness how time can stretch. Yes, it's possible to make 94 movie minutes appear like a three-and-a-half-hour stay in Barbie's and Ken's torture chamber. Please quickly a glass of rose champagne for Albert Einstein!
But short to the action, combined with the remark that unfortunately some of the most exciting scenes from Paradise Hills have to be betrayed at this point. Otherwise the audience would run the risk of overlooking the precious message of the film. In a society of our time, young women have a hard time implementing their own ideas of individual lifestyle. Anyone who is too reluctant, is brought to a magnificently rose-colored dream island for reeducation and transformed within a two months in a docile female. Four new makeover candidates have just arrived: a grumpy Asian, a disgruntled Latino pop star, a fat man, and a white spell of prosperity. The latter, played by Emma Roberts, is the main character of the film. She also looks really pretty punk, with her doll face and the perfect blonde beach waves. The resistant invades from every pore of her non-porous, rosy-radiant skin.
For young women, the appearance is very important, because of the popularity and reproduction and so, so this movie puts so much emphasis on it. The director knows a lot about it, because she has previously made mainly commercials. She has also gone to a lot of trouble with the equipment, the costumes, the styling, the set design. The girls have to wear white uniforms with waist lacing, buckles and straps? Oh, they are probably trapped in a social corset. And everywhere these rose bushes proliferate. If that ends well? Roses have thorns, dear children. The metaphor is so rich that the hat brims bend.
Alice Waddington did not want to tell this dystopia as a harmless fairy tale, but as a science fiction thriller. And if you want to create tension, you need a dualism, something dark, lurking amidst all the glaring niceness, the gentle training courses, the powdery make-up sessions, the fluttering negligees. Milla Jovovich is responsible for this counterpart, as a black countess and institutional director who apparently does not shy away from institutionalized mass murder. Because, of course, you can not break self-confident young girls within two months, no, no. Instead, you make human duplicates in a small subterranean lab, feed big-data complacent outcasts about the inmates, and in the meantime, subject them to so many cosmetic surgeries until they are identical to the originals. Then you get rid of the original women and send the rebuilt Kopiefrauen after two months back to life, to the unsuspecting families and clients.
Now Milla Jovovich is known as a gifted character actress, in a league with Megan Fox and Heidi Klum. So she succeeds to become the cold heart of this moodboard collage from Alice in Wonderland , The Red Shoes , The Women of Stepford and Westworld . Which woman needs a facial expression, if she should look good in opulent costumes. Parallels to Brigitte Nielsen as a black witch in the 90's fairytale classic Princess Fantaghirò are certainly intentional. Very captivating acting.
If especially the delicate female minds fear, the combination of feminist social criticism, exuberant design will and first-class cast could bring them to sleep: There are still so many fairy tales in this thriller, that he goes out well, of course. In a furious CGI spectacle, the evil duchess is finally strangled by her own rose tendrils and crumbles to ashes. Paradise Hills is truly an aesthetic and intellectual implosion on many narrative levels.
"Paradise Hills" will be in the cinema on August 29th.