This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Trudie’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This is going to be so divisive, and not just because of the biting ending. Personally, I was enamoured from the first minute. This is fun because it allows all its characters to be awful people while not reducing them to boring, unloving robots. You still invest in them and the outcome because we're weird creatures who do this cognitive dissonance thing and there's something about debauchery at work that's undeniably entertaining if executed right.
From the trailer I expected and wanted more of a sunshine soaked dark comedy focused on their ageist operation and its eventual downfall, but once I accepted that this was going in a shadier crime direction it gripped me in a different way.
Rosamund Pike is top flight. It's ridiculous that she hasn't had a string of heavy hitters. She is one of the best actors working today, period. Her performance in this is so precise, dirty, and convincing that Marla felt real — even if she is a cartoon villain in chic dresses.
The dialogue is sharp, the editing creates excellent pace and tension and watching it all unfold had me giddy. To enjoy this movie you probably need to accept that you're going to watch a toxic bitch with a sociopathic bob wriggle her way out of everything — even death — using nothing but her sheer will to win. If you're not able to do that you'll probably be more at home with the inevitable amazon.com reviews which I imagine will read something like "the main character was horrible, what was the point?”. There's no shame in that, but I like to indulge in fictional sinning and free myself of the dumb idea that to enjoy the story you have to be thinking at all times about the questionable morals of the characters, or, even worse... Tweet about them.
It's reductive to say this movie is only completely evil and completely condemns its characters, but it also has no problem telling you that yes it is evil and yes these people should and will be condemned. What I liked, and it was unexpected, was that there was a tinge of sadness in the background despite the fact the social commentary is nothing more than something to slide in to remind us of how monsters create themselves. I suspect this movie will be exhausting to talk about with people because they'll focus on all the wrong things rather than the brilliant simplicity of watching a desperate borderline-sociopath play a dangerous game and exist as a double-sided coin: a being capable of extreme cruelty and intimate tenderness (we are a messy bunch us humans). This approach rings truer to me than other movies with unethical protagonists because it didn't feel like a lie.
People do terrible things, karma comes back to bite them, and none of it feels good. But I'll be damned if it's not wildly entertaining. This is a must watch if you like watching good actors act in roles that only good actors could pull off. Also, excellent music and cinematography but I was too busy screaming to fully appreciate the details.