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Alice, Darling review: Anna Kendrick shines in this film that is uncomfortable and relatable in equal parts

The gripping drama also stars Kaniehtiio Horn, Wunmi Mosaku, and Charlie Carrick

Alice, Darling review: Anna Kendrick shines in this film that is uncomfortable and relatable in equal parts

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A still from Alice, Darling
  • Dhwani Desai

Last Updated: 06.26 AM, May 27, 2023

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Story: A young woman trapped in an abusive relationship becomes the unwitting participant in an intervention staged by her two closest friends.

Review: As soon as you meet Alice, you meet her anxiety. Alice is in a relationship with a much older Simon, who is emotionally abusive. She pulls her hair out as a means to deal with her anxiety, has an eating disorder, and is distant from her two best friends that she’s known all her life. 

Right off the bat, Anna Kendrick floors you with her performance as Alice, a young woman who is high-strung, always on edge, dresses down, and seems completely trapped. Things are so bad that she has to lie to Simon to go on a holiday with her friends.

While at a cottage with her two besties, Sophie and Tess, Alice joins a search party for a teenager named Andrea who has gone missing. One can instantly see the parallels between the missing teen and Alice, who is looking for her own lost self.

In one scene, when Alice is alone in her room at the cottage, her feelings of being trapped and confined in her relationship with Simon are reflected in a bug that is trapped on the window, unable to get out. The film has a lot of such imagery.

When she finally speaks to her friends about her abusive relationship and is away from her phone and, therefore, the constant texts and calls from Simon, Alice begins to go back to being who she is and be comfortable in her own skin.

But what happens when Simon finds out that she has lied to him and turns up at the cottage?

Verdict: Alice, Darling isn't an easy film to watch, especially if you have been in an abusive relationship or know someone close who has. But it is an important film to watch because the truth is that those who are in abusive relationships (that doesn’t involve physical abuse) rarely know that they are being abused. Is Alice, Darling uncomfortable to watch? Yes. But should you watch it? Yes. 

The casting of the film is top-notch, with each character doing full justice to their roles. You cannot help but dislike Charlie Carrick as Simon because he effectively gives you the creeps. Wunmi Mosaku as the peacemaker and calm Sophie, and Kaniehtiio Horn as the outspoken and in-your-face Tess will remind you of your own best friends.

There is no masala or added drama in Alice, Darling. In fact, at times, some scenes may feel like they are dragging in an effort to make viewers feel the tension. 

But these can be ignored and overall, the film is well shot and has some fine performances.