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Love Lies Bleeding Review – An astonishing Kristen Stewart tells you what happens when someone let’s their intrusive thoughts win

Intimacy treated like art makes Love Lies Bleeding a very unfiltered movie as Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brion unleash their magic. 

Love Lies Bleeding Review – An astonishing Kristen Stewart tells you what happens when someone let’s their intrusive thoughts win
Love Lies Bleeding Review

Last Updated: 03.41 PM, Apr 04, 2024


Louise, aka Lou (Kristen Stewart), runs a gym somewhere in New Mexico in the 1980s. Her life is stuck between cleaning clogged toilets and peddling steroids to men with brains in their pants. One fine day, a stranger named Jackie (Katy O'Brian) walks in as she is lying low before she contests the body-building competition in LA. It's love at first sight and their relationship blooms, and like all stereotypical films, all hell breaks loose (in a good way). How the blood is taken off their hands is what Love Lies Bleeding is all about.

Love Lies Bleeding Review:

If you have seen Saint Maud (2019), you know why director-writer Rose Glass opens Love Lies Bleeding in a certain way. Her leading lady is Kristen Stewart, a woman who last embodied Princess Diana and even scored an Oscar nomination for it. Now, she enters the screen as a gym worker busy cleaning a clogged toilet. The next frame is the excreta finally getting flushed. So expect nothing but gore from a story that is literally set in a corner of hell ruled by a man with a weird wig and an influence that spreads across the country. And he is Lou’s estranged father. Love Lies Bleeding is like an episode in the life of two lovers who walk into oblivion with Hulk energy and an almost dead body by the end of it, and you are not allowed to complain.


Written by Weronika Tofilska with Glass, Love Lies Bleeding is like everyone in a room letting their intrusive thoughts win and they do what their thoughts say only to live or correct the aftermath. There is no breathing space as such in the film because the three women in the limelight have none, even when one of them is literally a She-Hulk equivalent. Rose Glass is a woman telling stories about women who aren’t dealing with groceries or kids; they are fighting life for worth in their own way. Some films can be perceived in more ways than one, and this is a classic example because the movie is unapologetic when it does the most bizarre things and never really tries to defend or explain itself.

Love Lies Bleeding finds itself in that very randomness because it looks like no one else but only these characters exist in the landscape they stay in. But then these are intrusive thoughts and there are few characters in there. Both Weronika and Rose treat the screenplay like a longish crime feature you read in the newspapers on the weekend and are surprised at to what extent a criminal mind can go to get themselves freed. Amid all of this is tender love. 

While there is no space for it in the world, Lou has hers detached from everything in the four walls where she lives. The only place in the entire film that excuses warm tones as opposed to the blood-cold lighting the entire movie has.

Intimacy treated like art makes Love Lies Bleeding a very unfiltered movie. The conversations that a couple has regardless of their sexual orientation are something that is very tricky to enact as someone else but not for Kristen Stewart and Katy O'Brian. Stewart makes me believe in the phrase ‘Little Is More’ with each of her performances, and this one is no exception. As Lou, she finds the hook in being hopeless but also open to love and protecting the one she loves. She doesn’t have to be overdramatic to create impact. The secret is not in her dramatics, but in a simple gaze that says more than the dramatics could. Stewart deserves to be discussed more for creating characters that become three-dimensional just because of her, and you can see the burden, the baggage, and all that the character has been through without the character having to say it out loud.

Katy O'Brian is another complex character who is more in the visuals than an idea, and she has to look a certain way all the time. Whenever she is anxious, energy runs through her veins as they get tightened up. She is the perfect example of what it means to play a part that has to be looked at from all corners because no one has any reference to it, and for a stubborn society, it is very much against their idea of a woman.

Rose Glass makes extra effort in pitching these women like she does. Lou’s sister Bethany has accepted an abusive marriage, and if there is anything right in her life, according to her, it has to be getting beaten to a pulp by her husband each night. But she instantly corrects by giving a woman a superpower and that puts order to a story that deserves to be told. Yes, there are stereotypes and already-seen plot devices, but nothing spoils the magic Love Lies Bleeding wants to create for you.

The camera work is brilliant, as it spooks when needed and gives you still frames when you are restless. The background music or lack thereof, is what does the magic for the film. There is plenty of it but never too much.

Love Lies Bleeding Review: Final Verdict

It is a movie that can be perceived in a lot of ways, but if there is one thing that stands tall, it is Kristen Stewart and her art of being minimal with the maximum impact. Katy O'Brian is a surprise package, and so is the climax that will be dissected for months to come.

Love Lies Bleeding will release in India theatres on April 5, 2024. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more such review and on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.

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