Which came first, The Book or the Lesbians? Perhaps the Old Lady?
That is the question!
Jokes aside, I got to finally watch THE LAST THING MARY SAW, with a bit of trepidation, because the reactions I got from people were not pleasant ones! Having sat down, all sensorics on full alert, what did I think of the film?
To tell the truth, I wasn’t overly mad about it, overly! It probably has little to do with the fact that I am so over BAD END lesbian stories because they are like relics at this moment in time, which I guess I can see where others are coming from in hating this movie because who needs that kind of story in this day and age? Surely we haven’t had such a grand time already that we need to be reminded of how gays were treated in the early days!
It also probably has something to do with me being into the gothic horror, thriller or whatever this movie genre it is (tragic romance? drama? Period?) but I was more like, going ‘of course’ and while I would have and did want a good ending for our girls, would I have loved the movie more if it broke reality? I mean let’s be honest, there is no way there was a happy ending with any gays in those times, especially in a religious community as this!
And for me a movie best make sense more than giving me a good ending that does not, that’s what fan fiction is for! Which I guess is the only problem I have with this movie, it made very little sense! There were these moments that just killed the movie that was so close to being great! From things like the characters’ acting in certain scenes to actions taken that just took me out of it!
But before we continue, a simple breakdown of the movie’s story is that in the 1840s, there lived a very religious family, among which a daughter named Mary (Stefanie Scott) falls in love with another woman, the house maid Eleanor (Isabelle Furhman). In such a house and community, you already that that is bad news and so the parents set out to seek help in correcting their daughter and the maid! As one might expect, things don’t go according to plan, and you could say that this is one of the most tragic endings in a movie!
The movie skips within the timeline as it beings with the questioning of a blind Mary, who had her eyes gouged out, and from there, through her testimony, we are taken back through the events that let to that moment and I guess the movie’s disjointedness could be excused because it is a story being told by someone. But still, that is just one of the many problems.
Of course, as you would expect, the biggest beef I would have with the movie would be in relation to our girls, especially their relationship! So, what was up with their relationship?! The thing is that they were great together! They were so good together, which is shocking due to the little scenes they had together!
But again it was the little things like the characters’ reactions and actions that made everything just fall…short! When we ger back to the past where the story begins, we are dropped into the middle of things! Anyone should know how it feels coming into the middle of a conversation and no matter how hard you try, you won’t follow up like those that were there from the very beginning!
The story dumps us already in Mary’s parents already knowing about her devious deeds with Eleanor but we are not given a chance to get attached to them and their love! They are already at the crossroads in their relationships that we don’t know nothing about and thus all we are left with are the times where they are partially happy because they have to watch their backs every time they get together and there is this feeling of them being caught any minute which just sucks the life out of the whole experience!
Was that the intention of the Director? Who knows but do we care?
So, in addition to an already fragmented relationship, we also have some weird decisions the characters make, like Eleanor in regards to that Dick Face who raped her for a thing that was already hers! Why did she go for the finger?! If it was to cut off his grabby hands that were focused on during the deed, why did she not go for the whole damn hand? Why not go for the head!?! The story (from the father) built this thing up about the girls blowing up due to the way they were being treated and okay, Mary did bring about that unforgettable climax and Eleanor was a good girl but still, that Fucker did not deserve to live!
Speaking of another stupid decision, why did Eleanor step away from behind Mary during that scene?! Like, why?! Did she want to save Mary? Why would Dick face shoot her? And if she wanted to save Mary, why not step in front of her instead? Actually, why the fuck did the Doofus give Dick Face a gun? Did he really exchange it in for some loafs of bread?!
Well, at the very least there was consistence in how despicable the men were in this movie (which is also not good)! I mean, don’t get me started with the Dad who literally killed his young son so he could survive by swapping his tea which was safe with his own that was poisoned! What an Ass!
Back to our girls, what then was the point of all that if they were just going to end things like that?!! Yeah sure, they had no control from the very beginning as the Old Lady was the one pulling the strings…Speaking of the Old Lady, What the fuck is she?! Servant of God? My Ass! Was she a witch? We don’t know! Was she just there to create her successor in Mary and the only way to do that was to make her suffer to the point of no return? That’s just my two cents because the movie doesn’t explain shit!
Basically the story of Mary and Eleanor goes like this; the two are in love but their love is forbidden. Their family tries to correct their behaviour but it does not work and instead it drives the girls more angry to the point that kill their whole family, starting with Old Lady who was in charge of their reformation! But in the end some Dick face shows up, rapes and kills Eleanor, Mary killed her whole family with poison in tea (reminding me of Mary Cat who killed her whole family with sugar in We HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CATSLE) but in the end she loses her eyes to the Old Lady, who was actually still alive and then caught by the police who hang her (and thankfully did not burn her).
What a shitshow but I can totally see it happening in those times! What irks me is the fact that the girls were labelled Devils when there was an actual Devil in the Old Lady, who was practicing black magic or some shit, though albeit in secret but I guess seeing as she had great cover as servant of the Lord…I guess it comes down to perception! She just had too much power, the Old Crone summoned people with a whiff to this house and I have to admit, she was kind of terrifying, even before she displayed her supernatural powers when she broke Eleanor’s vocal cords!
Yeah, Eleanor is the most tragic character I have seen this side of the decade!
But that being said, the movie was very moody, perfectly gothic and the music was well constructed and I dare say, if I completely ignore the story, and the stupid reactions (Like Mary’s reaction to Eleanor’s death, like, wtf was that?!)
Also kind of wish Mary got to show her new powers in the end by teaching some fools a lesson and once again I ask, what was up with her reaction during her questioning? Yeah sure they police did not do nothing to her except hang her but if someone kept calling me the Devil I would show them what kind of Devil I am!
Speaking of, it is interesting how the Old Lady is considered a servant of God when Mary is considered the Devil despite them both having the same powers and Mary I am sure won’t be going around schooling lesbians!
Another sad thing is that most of the scenes between Mary and Eleanor were all spoiled in the trailers and no, there was not more to them! The barn scene was just that, them just reading a book and staring into each other’s eyes and while it was cute, and heartfelt when Mary’s last thought before she was hanged was of that smiling face of Eleanor, it still irks that we did not get an actual good make out scene! I guess you could say too that the last thing Mary actually saw was Eleanor’s smiling face!
Thumbs up for that too!
All being said, as a gothic movie, it get a thumbs up from me and Mary and Eleanor were shippable so I will be adding it to my collection when it releases on physical. Just like where Carmilla was half assed, this too was half assed and while it is 2022, points for effort still apply so yeah, points for effort!
Also Stefanie Scott and Isabelle Furhman!