Wild (2016) Film Review

   Whilst the argument may be made that Wild is a transgressive movie tackling the subject of female sexual politics, the reality is very different - this is a bizarre tale which manages the difficult combination of being, at once, ludicrous and dull.

    It never crossed this writer's mind that a film featuring wolf cunnilingus and graphic defecation (amongst other acts) could be described, above all else, as boring but, alas, uninspiring and flat are perhaps the most suitable epithets for describing Nicolette Krebitz's third feature.

   The movie tells the story of a meek office worker, Ania, who finds her existence transformed forever when, one random day, she catches sight of a wild wolf wandering in the wooded area near her apartment block. Eye contact with the feral lupine sets off feelings of desire inside her, and Ania slowly commits herself to living in the same wild, inhibition free manner as the wolf she is determined to capture. Gone are the shackles of society and, in their place, the young woman begins to act out a life free of social norms and cultural taboos which bind her.

   The assumption here is that the tale has been created to be an empowering one, a fable of emancipated female sexuality. Yet, the truth is that this regressive movie features a lead character who, rather than finding herself liberated, becomes a heroine who engages in physical relationships with every man who calls her "beautiful". Similarly, too, as she imagines herself dancing with new found confidence, Krebitz's camera lingers lecherously on Ania's semi-naked figure - the camera is suspiciously pointed directly at her posterior with consistent fevered conviction. It would be easy to use this as a profound example of the " male gaze " were the director not the wrong gender so as to complicate matters.

   As Wild concludes, its impossible to not look back at this bizarre inter-species sort-of but not quite romance movie and ask what the purpose was. This is a character study, of sorts, in which our protagonist seems less like a three dimensional person and more a set of spasmodic compulsions. Her actions seem to occur simply to drive the narrative forward, sideways, and down cul-de-sacs. There's no real lessons to be learnt or real characters we come to understand.

   This  movie isn't wild - it's blunt, it's laboured and, in its eagerness to lech and offend, quite banal. It isn't even a film which will be recalled as the "wolf sex movie" but, instead, as a peculiar mix of grotty and tedious.

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