In John Krokidas‘ ‘Kill Your Darlings’, a movie about the beat generation, a young Allen Ginsberg was saying the following: ”Be careful, you are not in Wonderland. I’ve heard the strange madness long growing in your soul, in your isolation but you fortunate in your ignorance. You who have suffered find where love hides, give, share, lose, lest we die unbloomed.” This particular quote incorporates a wide spectrum of feelings, moods and emotions that are present in the previously mentioned movie and also in Percival M. Rye’s ‘The Darlings‘, a feature film depicting the sad story a family has to endure due to the lack of attention; a heartbreaking story that has the power to keep the viewer glued to the screen for the whole runtime of ninety minutes.
The story and the scenery have a vintage feel, something very much alike with the Victorian novels that we read and loved over the years. The distinctive elements such as the Ludwig van Beethoven picture on the wall, the big fancy dressed dolls or the candles on the piano are just some of the props that are building the whole bourgeoisie environment that kept us focused on this feature.
There are many things we enjoyed in this feature film, and we will take our time to cover every aspect and point it out. First, the cast – stunning performances for the young girls coping with the death of their sister, in a time where the social adaptation was a big thing and events like this one could have been critical for the traditional family values. Also, we really appreciated the editing and screenplay of ‘The Darlings’. A great round of applause for the technical team for making it look this nice whilst being on a tight budget; coming back to the screenplay, we really enjoyed the depths of the dialogue. It has been a while since we’ve seen such a good dialogue in a movie depicting an era that was quite different in terms of language. We’ve recently came across a Shakespeare movie adaptation that tried to be as close as it could get to the original version in terms of narrative and language, but it failed massively when the language used was way more closer to technology than to Chaucer. In ‘The Darlings’, there aren’t flaws in the language, and because of this we are coming once again to the general idea of vintage movie that successfully recreated the feel of the epoch.
This movie is not for everybody! It is intelligent enough to make some of the viewers lose some interest in the first twenty minutes, but so does Joyce’s ‘The Dubliners’. Nevertheless, we still finished it and in the end we could easily say that it was a great read. ‘The Darlings’ could be perceived in the same way, but if you have a little bit of patience in the beginning, the reward will come eventually!