Monday, July 4, 2022

Asking For It - Movie Review

The Movie: Asking For It

The Director: Eamon O'Rourke

The Cast: Kiersey Clemons, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexandra Shipp, Ezra Miller, Radha Mitchell, Gabourey Sidibe, Luke Hemsworth

The Story: After a small town waitress is sexually assaulted after a date with her old friend she befriends a mysterious stranger who introducers her to an all femme gang.

The Review:
Okay, it has to be said because we're all thinking it. Ezra Miller as a mysoginistic, abusive, woman hater is inspired casting for all the wrong reasons. Not going to expand on that topic because this is a movie review and I'm sure you are aware of what has been going on in Miller's real life so I'll just leave it at that. Either way, this movie is very timely for a lot of different reasons and I'm sure a lot of people are going to connect with this revenge fantasy type story.

Ever since their feature film debut in Rick Famuyiwa's Dope, I always get excited to see Kiersey Clemons' name in the credits of whatever movie they are in and now they take center stage as the lead character in this film. The actor always brings a lot of authenticity to their roles and then of course that smile just lights up any room they happen to be in. Playing alongside Alexandra Shipp is also inspired casting as the two play off of each other really well and they create some of the better moments together in the whole movie.

This being a revenge movie, some of how the story plays out reminds me a little bit of Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds although it definitely stands on its own as a very modern bit of story telling. Sexual assault is of course no laughing matter although director Eamon O'Rourke injects the story with an attitude and a raw sense of humor that hits the mark all the way through while still driving the point home of how serious the subject matter is.

There are also several moments in the film that authentically show the impact sexual assault has on a woman both immediately after as well as long term effects that manifest physically, emotionally, and mentally. Clemons is at the forefront of these moments and the scenes are just so brilliantly acted, filmed, and edited, I think it's one of the first times I have seen in this type of movie that we really get to see the fallout of sexual assault in such a manner.

While watching the movie, I received a very pleasant surprise when I saw and heard the one and only Ruby Ibarra, who I discovered several years ago on a Youtube video that showcased four young women in a freestyle rap session. She stood out to me then and she has stood out to me ever since, not only as a Filipina rapper, but as a music producer, spoken word artist, movie director, and amazingly enough, as a scientist at a biotech firm. To see such a strong, multi-talented woman in a movie like this just seems perfect.

The Verdict:
Asking For It turns the tables on mysoginy and toxic masculinity while exploring the emotional fallout a woman experiences from a sexual assault. This is about as timely of a movie as you will find right now for so many different reasons.

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