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“Love Lies Bleeding”, a female revenge movie shakes up the Berlin Film Festival

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“Love Lies Bleeding”, a female revenge movie shakes up the Berlin Film Festival

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One of the most anticipated films of the 2024 Berlin Film Festival has been included out of competition: “Love Lies Bleeding”, the second work by the British Rose Glass, presented in the Berlinale Special section.
The very high expectations were dictated above all by the good results of the author’s debut, “Santa Maud” in 2019, but also by the presence among the protagonists of the actress Kristen Stewart, who over the years has become a true icon of auteur cinema always capable of experimenting and shaking the viewer: think in this sense of “Personal Shopper” by Olivier Assayas, “Certain Women” by Kelly Reichardt, “Spencer” by Pablo Larraín or “Crimes of the Future” by David Cronenberg.

In “Love Lies Bleeding” she plays Lou, a girl who works in the gym in a small town in New Mexico and who one evening crosses paths with Jackie, a bodybuilder determined to go to Las Vegas to take part in an important competition. The two will fall in love, but their relationship will give rise to a vortex of violence, which will involve several members of Lou’s family, daughter of the manager of a club for firearms enthusiasts and a powerful figure in the local criminal market.

A beautiful movement of the camera, which starts from the belly of a crater in the middle of the desert to head towards the starry sky and then approaches the gym from which the entire narrative is based, opens the film in a very suggestive way.

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Especially in the first part of the film, Rose Glass confirms her talent in the visual and sound management of an assembly with excellent timing and capable of keeping the pace of the film very high.

A fascinating but indigestible accumulation of themes

Despite the author’s talent, as the minutes pass, however, “Love Lies Bleeding” really puts too much iron in the fire: the story of female revenge against an extremely slimy and violent male character is completely consistent and well centered, while they leave the actions that are developed in the final part are very doubtful. It almost seems that the director has lost the reins of the general project a bit, ending up broadening the scope too much, also recalling numerous titles from the cinema of the past (“Thelma & Louise ”) and contemporary (Julia Ducournau’s “Titane” may come to mind, as well as various films from A24, the film’s distribution company).

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