Release Date: 11/17/23 [Cinemas]
Genre: Comedy. Drama. Thriller.
"A student at Oxford University finds himself drawn into the world of a charming and aristocratic classmate, who invites him to his eccentric family's sprawling estate for a summer never to be forgotten."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Emerald Fennell, a seasoned architect of tense and gripping thrillers, seamlessly transitioned from her successful run as the showrunner for Killing Eve to her film debut in 2020 with Promising Young Woman. Amidst intense controversy, the film not only secured Fennell an Academy Award nomination for Best Director but also clinched a win for Best Original Screenplay. Now, Fennell returns with her sophomore feature, Saltburn, reaffirming her adeptness in the thriller genre. With a seamless display of her filmmaking prowess, she firmly establishes herself as a visionary to keep on your radar. Saltburn, intensely psycho-sexual and rife with tension at every turn, promises an insatiable experience, leaving viewers gasping for air and thirsting for more of the chaos it sews.
The film centers on Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan), who gradually and methodically develops an obsession with his Oxford classmate Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi). Despite not aligning with the clique Felix surrounds himself with, Oliver secures a coveted invitation to join Felix for the summer at the opulent Saltburn estate. As the summer unfolds, tensions escalate within the social circle and the Catton family, leading to unexpected revelations for all involved.
At first glance, the film may seem like another take on the "eat the rich" trope that has gained prominence in recent cinema and culture. However, it boldly shifts its focus to the inherent hubris within the upper class, skillfully constructing a narrative that delves into how they leverage it against others and, intriguingly, how it can ricochet back as a weapon against them. Felix and his affluent family hail from the upper class, seemingly humbled by allowing Oliver to stay with them. Alongside their friend Farleigh (Archie Madekwe), an underlying power struggle permeates every interaction, constantly probing each character's true intentions and whether they are virtuous or harbor ulterior motives.
Fresh off his Oscar nomination last year, Barry Keoghan skillfully guides the narrative, navigating every twist and turn with expertise. His on-screen presence ranks among the most compelling in film this year, undeniably warranting another nomination in the Lead Actor category. Keoghan portrays Oliver as an ostensibly naive figure, yearning for acceptance into the upper class. However, as the film unfolds, it becomes evident that his actions are not always as uninformed as they initially seem. Each move is carefully calculated to achieve his desired outcome. Keoghan adeptly walks the tightrope between intentional actions and attempts to salvage whatever he can, leaving the viewer in a perpetual state of uncertainty regarding his true motives.
Rosamund Pike emerges as another standout in the cast, embodying the eccentric mother of Elordi's character. Her nonchalant demeanor and unsympathetic indifference toward others contribute to a riveting performance, portraying a mother who outwardly appears caring but can effortlessly discard anyone when they cease to hold value. Alongside Keoghan, Pike delivers an exceptional performance, effortlessly stealing the spotlight in nearly every scene she graces. Elordi also delivers a captivating performance, showcasing his versatility from his role in the teen drama Euphoria to his more mature film role in this instance.
Saltburn offers an irresistible experience for those daring enough to immerse themselves in the alluring and psycho-sexual ambiance crafted by Emerald Fennell. A gripping and feverishly intense journey awaits, promising to set viewers' hearts racing with each unpredictable turn. Drawing striking parallels to Fennell's previous work, this film is a must for thriller enthusiasts who seek to lose themselves in an exhilarating experience.