Information , 2021.
director: Samantha Aldano.
With Kelly Murtagh, Erica Ashley, Grelen Bryant Banks, Bobby Gilchrist.
A blues singer from New Orleans struggles to hide a worsening eating disorder.
Ivy (Kelly Murtagh) is a beautiful woman living in New Orleans. He dreams of becoming a professional blues singer, plays regularly with his band and shares remarkable chemistry with bandmate Oscar (Bobby Gilchrist). Ivy works hard to look like she has it all figured out, but harbors a terrible secret shame. Ivy has an eating disorder and the wheels start to go off.
Samantha Aldana's directorial debut, Shapeless , is a bleak look at a person dealing with a serious problem. When she's not cleaning or making music, Ivy is mostly alone in her apartment trying not to drink, and when she can't, she's always kneeling in front of the toilet.
In her creative life with her band, Ivy seems to be about to break through, but in her personal life, the walls are closing in and there could be a chance for music, creativity and fulfillment of her dreams, her life. is increasingly characterized by deprivation, failure and shame.
If all of this is depressing enough, it is. Although the film is ostensibly a horror film, Shapeless works best as a dark depiction of life with bulimia. The film has scene after scene of Ivy trying (and failing) to deal with her eating disorder, and Ivy's bulimia seems to follow a pattern of addiction rather than trying to meet realistic beauty standards.
Living as an addict is real work, and Shapeless captures the callousness of Ivy's everyday life very well. Unfortunately, following these events to completion can be difficult.
Some of the problems with Shapeless are probably unrealistic expectations. Aldano tries to weave a body-horror motif into Ivy's cycle of madness and purification, but while the effects are very well done, they never seem particularly revealing, and I never understood what the extra appendages that Ivy attached to her body gifts are, must represent .
There's a scene in Shapeless where Ivy tries to hide the evidence of her cleaning by scooping up a handful of vomit from the toilet, and it's a more gruesome sight than the gruesome genre elements on display. Formless could have been a more effective horror film if it had focused more on the disturbing aspects of life with bulimia, but Aldana's camera often avoids the grim reality of the disease.
If Shapeless doesn't succeed as a horror film, it certainly makes for an impressive calling card for this first-time director. The setting of the New Orleans blues scene is a welcome addition, and Aldano does a good job of maintaining the film's unique (and dark) tone and atmosphere.
Kelly Murtagh also stars in almost every frame in this film, giving a masterful performance as a woman in crisis as Ivy's story takes an increasingly sinister path.
Shapeless is not an effective horror film, but it is an insightful story about a problem that is too easy to hide. A particularly sad blues song, Shapeless can break your heart.
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