• Paul Mayers

The Souvenir (2019)



Directed by Joanna Hogg


A film is strongest when the experience of the creator & the created experience become one. This is an idea that is discussed and quite literally played out in this story. Not only that, but the way this film is presented feels exactly like a memory of events, playing out in front of your eyes. Quick snippets of important moments, which on their own feel unfinished, but as a whole create a story. ‘The Souvenir’ is a dream for the pretentious, but for me it was a hell of a long two hours.


Agonisingly slow, I even had to check my watch half way through, keeping my fingers crossed I wouldn’t be sitting in the cinema much longer. All the key players were fantastic, but the characters they were playing had no likeable qualities. The lead Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) seemed so naïve and intent on staying with the disgusting leach Anthony (Tom Burke), that it is truly bizarre Joanna Hogg thought it would be wise to write such a weak female lead in the current climate.


The choppy editing of moments was not at all clever. It only served to annoy and baffle me as to what and why certain scenes were even included, with special mention to a man completely undressing him self, with no context to whom he actually was, or why I even care. My single ray of hope in the whole film was the inclusion of Richard Ayoade. His segment was genuinely funny and a breath of fresh air compared to the utter slog the rest provided. But alas it was not enough to lift my enjoyment any further than a single moment.


Critics seem to be eating this mess up, but ‘The Souvenir’ was clearly not for me. I am just completely perplexed as to why there is a sequel to this film in the works!


1.5/5


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