When I watched "Only" a little while back - I thought I would be in for a sci-fi treat. One filled suspense and the thrill of the unknown, but what I got was a smorgasbord of Why?
Hi, this is Nykole and welcome to Chroma Film
Written and directed by Takashi Doscher, the 2019 film Only takes a look at a relationship, strained by the threats of the world outside. Before going into this review - I wanna say that I have respect for Takashi and the idea of the world he created. So this review is not to insult him or downplay his efforts. This is just my opinion of the film...Ok, so let's get into it
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The story starts off 400 days after the event, and the world has been devastated by a lethal virus that only effects the female population.
Eva played by Freida Pinto and Will played by Leslie Odom Jr. are a couple and 2 of the few remaining survivors.
Men are to be quarantined - and women are escorted away to a military facility for possible treatment. According to documents Eva read online, the women that are removed from their homes are treated unfairly with tests and procedures. For this reason - Will and Eva work together to make their home - hideout friendly - and discover the pitfalls of being in a relationship when the environment is out to get one of them.
Starting with the positives - This film had a lot of potential. The situation was one that could easily be imagined - especially with what we've been dealing with since 2020.
It's been a time of trial for a lot of people - making the plot believable and easy to relate to.
It was beautiful film and the acting was very believable. Image wise, it was easy to watch. Some of my favorite scenes were in their home before the event. Natural structures and textures - making their home feel warm and inviting
The costumes of neutral and muted tones had an organic yet depressing overtone, reflecting the atmosphere of the film.
And the images of nature, like the woods and the waterfall were beautiful as well, the film really drew me in - Until....Eva....
A major part of the plot is that women are the only ones effected by the virus - the women that are healthy are detained by military forces. For this reason, Eva has to make an effort to look male - in order to keep from being detected.
One of the first things I noticed was the fact that Eva's hair was never cut. She took the time to bandage herself to cover her womanly parts - but didn't think about what people could actually see. Instead of what she did in the bathroom, which I'll talk about later - she should've been cutting her hair - or at the least trying to braid it or something, she didn't have a scrunchy or hair ties or something?
Close to the beginning of the movie and on their way to the trip Eva wants to go on, they stop by the grocery store, Will tells her to stay close and keep her head down, she does the absolute opposite
not only does she separate herself from him - she stands there staring at something that only biological women use - drawing attention to herself....
Of course the clerk notices that she's not who she's pretending to be and her cover is blown - causing her and will to have to leave the store abruptly.
On the way to their destination - they stay at a motel for a night with the intention to continue their travels the following day.
The next morning - In order to create a disguise for herself, Eva has the bright idea to put dirt on her face - and no, not just any ole regular dirt - dust from an old motel bathroom- Wait, What?...
forgetting that the dust is toxic - and to give her the benefit of the doubt -say she doesn't know that the dust carries the virus...but...Ok
After leaving the motel, Eva has the awesome idea of going out for breakfast. She wants to go out for bacon and pancakes to take a break from eating canned food - Will thinks it's a dumb risk - but he throws out another suggestion, "how about we get it to go"-it made a lot of sense - it minimized the risk of Eva being captured and she replies - "you want my last meal to be to go" - I don't give hard eye rolls all the time - but this scene definitely got one.
So they end up going in the diner at Eva's request, and of course, the waiter is looking at her sideways because she doesn't look like a dude anywhere - dust shadow beard or not
Will is paying attention to his surroundings, but of course Eva is oblivious - only concerned with her food.
As they're eating their breakfast, and listening to the news, the anchor explains that the bounty for healthy American women has gone from 1 million to 2 million dollars.
As they're hearing this news - Will showed concern, but seemed to already be aware of the risk involved with getting Eva around.
Eva on the other hand - the one that actually has the virus, the one that did a bunch of research online and the one that should've been hypervigilant - is terrified the that there is a bounty -as though she didn't know women were being detained - and then ha the nerve (the audacity) to get nervous about being at the diner...so they run out and of course, and she mistakenly leaves the map of where they're going on the booth table - making it extremely easy for anyone to find them in hopes of collecting a bounty.
After they leave the diner and make it to their destination, Eva has to take a minute to herself, away from Will, to get her thoughts together about what happened at the diner, which made perfect sense..
What didn't make sense to me was that instead of enjoying the wilderness and taking a walk or Something - she needs to go for a drive to clear her head by getting away from the nature that they left the house for in the first place - her hair is down as she drives because apparently it didn't cross her mind to disguise herself, making it very easy to be spotted - but who cares? Eva's in charge - she's gonna do what she wants
In order to cope with being alone in this fight, Eva joins a support group of women that have been diagnosed or have symptoms. Due to the rapid pace of the virus, members of the group started dropping away from communications. The last woman Eva had a connection with, decided that she would end her time on the chat in order to spend her last days with her husband...I think any sane person would say - it's ok, be with your husband - I understand. -But not Eva, no....- says "No - stay with me"...What?!
Throughout the whole movie - Eva puts herself and Will in compromising positions - causing them to be in situations that they wouldn't have had to face otherwise. I'm not blaming her for being sick or course - it was pretty inevitable - but her lack of strength, insight and self preservation were almost draining
If the film would've stated that the virus caused irrational behavior, it would've helped a lot in understanding the outlandish actions of Eva's character - but after watching it twice - I didn't hear mention of it - did you? I could be wrong - tell me in the comments....
In short, I just couldn't relate - Maybe it's 'cause I'm introvert and I like my time alone anyway or maybe I just wasn't the right audience for this film - All I do know is - I understand common sense - which would explain why I don't understand the actions of Eva's character.
The moral of the story may have been that she was exercising her power to do what she wants as a woman or Maybe it was about a woman making her own choices, in spite of how many people it hurt - it could have a been a reference about Eve and the burdens tied to her for disobedience... I don't know
In closing, It had beautiful visuals and a lot of potential, but fell flat in terms of simple common sense in Eva's character, which literally gave me a headache and honestly had me feeling a little insulted - wondering why this woman was portrayed as a needy spoiled brat...anywho.
If you want to watch this film....It's currently available on Netflix.
On that note, have an awesome day - be good to yourself and good to others - peace.
© (TFF, 2019) - Provided by Tribeca Film Festival
Photo by Vertical Entertainment - © Vertical Entertainment