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Jug Face (2013)
This is one of those titles that jumps out at me as one that deserves at the front of the review a reiteration of the fact that any film is merely just the writer to the best of his or her ability relating his/her experience with a film and why. As to whether it is something that will work for you, that’s something you have to parse for yourself based on what you read here and I stress that prior to discussing this film because it is most definitely one where I can understand how it would engender support.
If there’s one thing I unquestionably enjoy about this film is that it refuses to dumb its narrative down. It concerns a teenage girl who becomes pregnant and for many extenuating circumstances feels the need to flee her backwoods home. One of the extenuating circumstances is a communal, pagan-cult-like existence that mandates basically all the residents’ life decisions. The rural location and isolation create a microcosm separated from reality as we know it. What the rules are about life in this place are made clear throughout the course of the film, as well as what transgressions have occurred against said rules. There is nary a bluntly expository word uttered. Things are learned either visually or indirectly.
Where the film bogs down some are in a few places. One such area is when the minutiae is temporarily unclear. The stakes are quite clear early on, which is great, but the impending doom of the characters (in various ways) is also made apparent early. The lack of clarity does muddle a few relationships, plot points and character assignations but that is a minor concern.
The film ends with some mysteries left unsolved, but some of the answers feel like they should pack more of a wallop than they do. The nature of these deities fascinates but, that is due to the visual conveyance of information.
I am being intentionally guarded in my explanation of of my grievances because to over-discuss them would be to give too much away. It’s better to meet this film knowing just the one line synopsis and no more. It’s the kind of world I would not be averse to seeing revisited and expounded upon. This is the type of first installment that could allow for a shorthand to be in place before it’s followed up, and can create something more akin to a companion piece than a sequel.
The performances in the film, namely by the protagonist Lauren Ashley Carter, are impressive and make the film worth viewing. If you are curious to see the film and form your own opinion it is available to stream on Amazon Instant Video (free to Prime Members).