Under Milk Wood, 2015
dir. Kevin Allen
Based on a radio drama by poet Dylan Thomas, this film follows the lives of the residents of a small seaside town in Wales. It is told entirely through verse, and it’s one of the most surreal films I’ve ever seen. (Eat your heart out, Luis Buñuel!)
The film is surreal to a fault, to the point where you don’t know what’s happening or who the characters are. And because of the verse format, it is really confusing and hard to follow, although the imagery is well translated into screen.
It reminded me of the film Howl, which I actually really like, because of the way it uses the verse and the images together, but I think Howl was much more effective because it really pulls you into the story of the film. Though that might just be because I’m a fan of Allen Ginsberg and my only experience with Dylan Thomas was watching Set Fire to the Stars.
Anyway, despite all that, the film is still pretty good, especially the visuals. There’s a lot of surreal stuff going on at all times, and the costumes and make up really build up on that. Everything comes together to create an alternate universe Wales where these odd characters reside. The performances were great as well, and I think all the actors were Welsh as well, which is nice, and they did a really good job. There are no stand out performances, but all of them were solid and equally interesting.
While I didn’t particularly enjoy this film, fans of the works of Dylan Thomas really would. It’s very strange and surreal and over-the-top, but also really beautiful, and interesting.
review by Mariana Duarte