Monday, 9 January 2017

Hymns (2016)

This is another project I backed on Kickstarter.  It was produced by the same people who made NSFW, which I rather liked, though I thought it's potential audience niche was rather small.  SO I was eager to see whether I'd enjoy this as much.

The answer, alas, is no.  I think this largely comes down to expectations.  Hymns seems to be a reasonably well executed film on the whole - although the writing's a bit clumsy and didactic - but it's not the film I thought I'd signed up for.

Here's the kickstarter pitch: "The film focuses on three women, living together during wartime of an anonymous foreign war. The women, while at home, try to create a sense of the nuclear family while dealing with their own feelings of loss, identity and desire."

However, the film that was actually made only delivers a couple of minor nods to the whole "nuclear family" thing, to the point where you could pretty much excise the last of the three women from the film and not notice any real change.  Instead it seems to me that Hymns much more about one woman's struggle to come to terms with the absence (and potential death) of her husband, with the other characters mostly existing as surrogates or spurs to this yearning/grieving process.  The husband is in fact a much more significant character in the plot than either of the other two women.

Now "pining for / worrying over a lover" is a perfectly sound thematic core for a film if that's your thing, but it's not really mine, and not something I would have backed, and I think it's a shame that we didn't get the more female-centric story the kickstarter suggested.

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