Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Bad Batch (2016)

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour
DOP: Lyle Vincent
Cast: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey

Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is abandoned in Texas wasteland and is fenced off from civilization. While trying to navigate the unforgiving landscape, she is captured by a savage band of cannibals led by the mysterious Miami Man (Jason Momoa). She manages to escape from their, minus a leg and an arm, and reaches The Comfort which is kind of owned by a cult drug dealer played by Keanu Reeves.
As she adjusts to the Bad Batch, she realises that good or bad depends on who is standing next to you.

There is a line in the film delivered by Miami Man to Arlen, "You don't see the way things are but the way you are". That is also kind of applicable to how you perceive a film. It seems the film has not been received that well by the critics World over but I totally enjoyed it. Don't know whether it is because of me living through the Modi shit-storm in India where people are lynched for their food habits, I quite literally interpreted it as take on Veganism/Vegetarianism Vs Normal people's food habits. As they impose their shitty Paneer Vegetarianism on rest of the people, it is quite normal to see people claiming that if you eat meat what really stops you from eating humans down the line as if it is a natural progression.

So the film did make a lot of sense to me as I viewed Arlen's character as representation of the Vegetarian brigade who is totally appalled by the cannibalistic Miami Man gang. To be fair she is well within her rights as she was their food. After her escape from there and recovery at Keanu Reeves' place, she is quite bored and ventures out with a gun and inadvertently kidnaps Miami Man's daughter who is then kind of adopted by Keanu who has a bunch of gun trotting pregnant bodyguards. Out on the desert again after a psychedelic drug experience, she meets the Miami Man and gradually warms up to him and his cannibalistic ways. It ends up as a love story with them feeding his Spaghetti demanding daughter her pet rabbit. That was like a middle finger to the Vegans.

There was also Jim Carrey playing a hermit without any lines who guides the characters at various points. The film is much larger in scope compared to Amirpour's previous film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, which was dubbed as first Iranian vampire film. The first 20 minutes of Bad Batch can totally gross you out but there is not much gore after that. Film is very stylish in its Western kind of setting and Jason Momoa is just cool riding his scooters. The soundtrack is just rad. One can accuse that it is style over substance but what is wrong with that anyway as long as it is done well.

Rating: 4.5/5