Sofia Coppola’s latest feature, The Beguiled, carries the theme of loneliness, which was present in her previous work like The Virgin Suicides and Lost In Translation, due to the physical isolation that the main characters feel.
However, what makes The Beguiled far different from those two films is how it serves as a pastiche of 70’s horror with its near lack of a musical score and how the suspense builds up to the third act. Also the nightmarish cinematography by Phillippe Le Sourd that engulfs the picture in darkness at almost every turn, even in the scenes that take place in daylight, is a stark contrast to The Virgin Suicides which is constantly shot as if it is like a dream.
The actors manage to add to the mystique present throughout the picture; Nicole Kidman can create intrigue over what her maternal headmistress Martha will do next with just the raising of an eyebrow and Colin Farrell brings sly yet frustrated charm to his portrayal of wounded soldier John.
Ironically, Kirsten Dunst, who emerges as the MVP of the cast, plays the main character who is the most honest. Her Edwina makes those around her believe she wants to be encased her isolated sanctuary in a subtle yet self-flagellating manner yet deep down, she’s still aware of her need to escape the mundanity of her daily life.