In Irene Cara`s famous song, ‘What a Feeling’, written for FLASHDANCE, it is said- ‘Take a passion and make it happen’. This is exactly what Jude does when he meets and falls in love with his future wife under very unusual circumstances. As time goes by his loving wife, Mina seems to become dangerous and strange when her obsession with purity and cleanliness causes their son to stop developing; she refuses to give him anything except a strange oil, that makes him stop growing…
Hungry Hearts, directed by Italian filmmaker, Saverio Costanzo is set in New York, where a young couple find themselves stuck in a laundrymat. While they wait for help, Mina and Jude begin to talk about anything that will distract them from the strange situation they are in. And, looking at Mina, there is no way to tell that there is anything unusual about her. Soon after, while the music of Irene Cara plays ‘What a feeling’, we find Mina and Jude at their wedding where they decide to create the ideal family.
Things begin to change when Mina gets pregnant. And, If her extraordinary attitude towards her pregnancy does not make the viewer become a bit cautious, then the events that take place after the baby is delivered most certainly will. This is where the most dangerous and terrifying part of the film begins. Mina locks herself and her child in the house for seven months… Soon we find out that the child has a fever, eats only vegetables, and drinks only water because his mother believes that anything that comes from an animal, such as eggs, milk, or meat is dangerous for the child.
Hungry Hearts is an excellent and very unique psychological horror film with outstanding performances by Adam Driver, and Alba Rohrwacher as Mina. The viewer can clearly tell from Rohrwacher`s performance that there is something maniacal about Mina. Adam Driver seems to have finally found a genre of film that he feels comfortable with. As the film progresses, both of the main actors get more into the madness that is brought about by the obsessed mother. It’s almost hard to watch certain scenes especially when Mina goes wild in her protectiveness – the viewer will prepare himself for the worst.
In conclusion, not many indie films can be engaging, interesting, and at the same time, attractive. But Costanzo`s film manages to find a way to develop a strong subject, and actors who bring the written parts to life on the silver screen. This makes this film absolutely unforgettable. There are many films told about motherhood, but none of them come close to Hungry Hearts version of being a mother – twisted, scary, and brilliant.