By Maahin Akhlaque.
Having made a few short films, Jimmy Weber has written and directed his first feature in the form of Eat, of which I can say very little other than it’s quite a gross kind of gory.
Novella McClure (Meggie Madock) is a struggling actress in Los Angeles, in her early 30s, with a bad Marilyn Monroe look, and she hasn’t landed a role in three years. To top it all off, she’s developed a disturbing habit of eating her own flesh when she gets hungry, which she desperately tries to hide from her intrusive landlord, Eesha, and psychopathic best friend, Candice (Ali Frances).
The biggest issue, possibly, of Eat, is how there is absolutely nothing special about Novella (which is a terrible, terrible stage name) at all, nothing to make her rootable for, or for us to sympathise with her lack of success. Mainly because Madock is about as bad an actress as her onscreen character (and that goes for Ali Frances as well). Or she’s just that convincing… Anyway. Apparently her flesh eating condition comes from being incredibly hungry, from having no money. I’m sure there’s something deep that Weber had in mind writing this film about the condition of struggling actresses and what they have to go through, but absolutely nothing comes across. I get that he’s not going for the realism thing, but it does to go a step too far into the just ridiculous. Oddly the other supporting cast manage to come across as more convincing, like Novella’s psychiatrist and love-interest, Dr. Simon (Jeremy Make). However his lack of any sort of conflict in taking her on as his patient after asking her out kind of takes away from that.
I’m sure Eat has its audience out there somewhere, and if the gore aspect is important, then it has that working for it, but very little else. Or maybe it just went over my head, but it certainly isn’t my kind of film.
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