The Headless Woman Review: Not Much Up Top
“If you can overlook the fact that the movie makes no effort to make any sense, then it’s a great film”.
Well, sorry random internet reviewer, but I can’t. In fact, a film that makes sense is pretty much a prerequisite to whether I enjoy it or not. Unfortunately, for the purposes of this analysis, I had to endure the full 90 minutes of The Headless Woman. A generous title for a film not only headless but soulless and spineless to boot.
The story revolves around chief character Verónica’s meltdown after an elusively mentioned car accident. In the film’s opening shot, four boys with a dog cavort in a roadside canal along a nearly deserted rural highway as an approaching vehicle is heard.
Driver Verónica then hits something – or someone – and makes a lucky escape. After hearing no reports of any fatalities near the canal, a week later she comes across a crew digging up a body in that very spot.
The remainder of the film centres on Verónica’s struggle to come to terms with this mysterious crime. Cue plenty of glazed expressions and minimal dialogue. While some may mistake this for “haunting subtlety” the woman is just frustrating. You almost wish she’d start juggling mid-scene just to cull the dullness.
Sure, she must be fraught with confusion, guilt and what-not, but after initially drawing us in (“Why is she acting so strange?”) one and a half hours of nothing but a few marital affairs and little conclusion later, one begins to have that ‘punch yourself in the head’ feeling.
‘If only this woman was headless’, I thought at one point. Every so often someone would tell her how disgusting her hair was. Dying it halfway through – and the reasons behind this – is the pinnacle of her excitement.
Some might also argue the film represents the widening gap between Argentina’s class system, which is no doubt an interesting subject to explore. The flailing plot and evasive characters, however, did little to hold my concentration long enough to appreciate it.
Some people may love it, though; I digress.