Rory Kindersley channels Hitchcock with Eve, a new film starring Christine Marzano, Rachel Warren and Andrew Lee Potts – here’s our review.
“Our state cannot be sever’d, we are one, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.” So says Adam to Eve at one of the high points of John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, acknowledging how he cannot be without her, even if it means a less happy life. This too is how Bex Leary sees herself and Alex Beyer in Eve: hopelessly entwined, both doomed, two halves of one unhappy whole. Having stalked and infiltrated Alex’s life, over a role in a film version of Paradise Lost, Bex is… well, we’re staying spoiler free.
Revenge is the main drive in this film – having lost the role of Eve to Alex, and suffering the consequences of an implied violent breakdown, Bex is determined to get even not just with Alex, but also with most of the people who are unfortunate enough to cross her path. Bex is the centre of the film’s interest in identity: the beginning of the film sees her trying on different wigs and mouthing along to film clips, apparently in an attempt to reinvent herself. This obsession with identity and reinvention comes to its climax in the conclusion of her twisted, largely one-sided relationship with Alex.
Eve’s narrative is interesting if at times confused – even if this is to reflect Alex’s experience as she becomes more paranoid and nervous, it doesn’t always work, and plot threads sometimes dangle. The two plots – one psychological, one grounded in an unpleasant reality – fight for dominance, and while the script draws themes from Paradise Lost such as deceit, lust and appearance versus reality, these themes are underused for me. I’d also argue that the film’s pacing feels gives us a first 20 minutes that are full of action, exposition and motivation, resulting in too little for the characters to do by halfway through the film. While a slow burn can turn up the tension, this particular burn is so slow that it occasionally is in danger of flickering out.
And yet: despite its flaws, Eve is an interesting watch. Director Rory Kindersley makes the most of every possible Hitchcock reference, his use of colour, light and costume reminiscent of Vertigo. I found myself unsettled by camera shots which mimic the ‘male gaze’; reality television-style cameras are hidden in fridges and corners of rooms. Nowhere seems safe, or private, in this world where everything can be observed at all times – perhaps not just by the audience.
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