Swallow ★★★½

First of all, ouch.

Swallow is a really interesting film, about a very real condition. If we look at it from a first-level narrative, it hits all the right spots regarding the origins of such an illness, as well as the behaviours/stances towards it. Obsessive-compulsive disorders and complusion-including ailments like pica, are often tightly connected to a longing for control, as well as a need for self-worth. The depiction of these needs is accurately put on display in the movie, and in some moments, some unexpected turns where taken (it actually reminded of an addiction).

On a deeper level, the effort to reclaim self-determination from the binds of a patriarchic state is a daily struggle in the lives of women (even now, in the 21st centruy). Wealth and the neo-capitalistic system in general seem to promote exertion of power over a certain group; women are often victims in such cases, as young men are raised to believe that they own them, kinda like dolls.

Haley Bennett's ambiguous performance is perfect for the role; you never know if what the character is displaying is true or just a facade. It reinforces the mystery and unpredictability of the script, and with Mirabella-Davis' Lanthim-esque direction (very pretty) we get a very well-made case study. Great stuff.