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Sundance 2023: “Bad Behaviour”


Rating: 2 out of 5.

It’s an unpleasant feeling when the moment you begin watching a film, you realize – it’s going to be a massive waste of time. Not because the actors are bad – Jennifer Connelly and Ben Whishaw do not make dreadful films. Directorial debut does not mean turning off the tv. It’s just a combination of everything that makes you feel so ungrateful towards the filmmaker’s work because it lacks common sense.

Lucy, a former child star, has more bad moments than good. Therefore, hoping to reinvent herself and find some meaning in her, as she thinks, empty life, she goes to a retreat resort. The head of the resort and guru, Elon, tries to dive deep into his guests’ minds to cure them of anything that stops them from living their life to the fullest. But with Lucy joining the group, things go south when her bad behavior ruins everything – including her own life.

Sadly, that’s how far you will go with the storyline, which is what is provided in the synopsis, and that’s all about it. The moment the film starts, you will be really lost. The feeling of the actors knowing what they are trying to convey to us is so unreal, it’s as if they, the same as you, have no clue about what is happening. Certain scenes look so serious, you’re meant to feel bad for Lucy, but you laugh instead. The film lacks basic logic and offers nothing towards its characters. Each story allows the audience to generate certain feelings towards its characters. But this one is almost like… meh.

Director Alice Englert, who stars as Lucy’s daughter, does her best with the concept perhaps she didn’t process it properly. At times, it’s meant to be a dark comedy or even just drama. But eventually, whether it’s the direction, acting or writing – nothing goes as far as intent, because what you will see is a bad film you won’t even wish your worst enemy to see. I grant, maybe it’s just me who did not understand it, and I always try to give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, not in this case.

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