I’m still not at all sure how many of the scenes in the movie Without took place in reality, and how many took place in the girl’s head. I’ve been trying to figure it out since yesterday morning, but it’s still a mystery to me.
Joslyn is the 19-year-old girl hired to take care of a geriatric invalid in a vegetative state by a family living on a remote island, although I’m not even sure that happened. Shortly after she arrives it becomes clear that she’s never cared for an invalid before. The family leaves her with a set of hand-written instructions for taking care of the old man, loosely stapled together on yellow sheets of legal paper that she goes back to, page by page, as she’s trying to figure out how to lift the old man out of his wheelchair into bed. Does that seem at all probable to you?
The only thing that does seem to have taken place is that Joslyn has lost a connection to a dear friend, a significant other, who she can’t stop thinking about. Laying awake at night, she pours through the photos of a girl on her iPhone, unpinching the screen to get as close as she can before turning the lights out and setting the phone beside her bed to wake her up with a jingle in the morning.
Except that the phone isn’t by her bedside in the morning. She rolls out of bed and snatches it up from the window ledge to shut off the incessant tune it’s playing, first without a thought, then with a furrowed brow. When she finally duct tapes it to the bed stand it stays there, but when she rolls out from under the covers she finds that the t-shirt she went to sleep in is lying folded at the foot of the bed. Confused, she pulls it over her head and gets dressed. I’m pretty sure that last part happened to her. Not sure how or why, though.
The old man is an interesting character. He speaks just a few words in the whole movie. Oddly, they’re not the words I expected: “Umm, Juicy Fruit.” They were much more ordinary, while at the same time more sinister, although I’m pretty sure he never said them. I’m pretty sure he didn’t exist outside her mind, even though he locked Joslyn out of the house at least once. Might have been twice, although I think she locked herself out the first time, which means she could’ve locked herself out both times without realizing it. If she was even there. I’m so confused.
Joslyn isn’t sure at all that the old man is the basket case he seems to be. As it turns out, by the explosive scene at the end of the movie she’s absolutely sure of it, and yet, if I’m right, then everything she believes him to be is almost certainly a product of her own troubled mind, and she was just house sitting the whole time, and had way too much time to think about her friend, and it made her go a little la-la. Or maybe she really did walk off into the woods, and she disappeared forever, but then what does the last scene mean?Without | 9:16 pm CDT
Category: entertainment, festivals, movies, play, Wisc Film Fest