God, Help Emily Browning: A semi-scathing review of her latest film

god_help_the_girl
via Imp Awards

Emily Browning turns 26 in December, so why is she stuck playing helpless right-out-of-high-school female roles to date? Sucker Punch was the last movie she starred in where she actually kicked some Nazi zombie butt and it was righteous. In her latest film, God Help the Girl, the camera revolves around her–as always–and she’s perpetually singing about the boring humdrum of teenage angst.

The audience is never told outright how old the three main characters are in the film, though Browning’s character Eve mentions to her friend James that he should grow up, seeing as how he’s “almost 25.”

I’d like to say to Emily Browning, “Why can’t you pick an adult-ish role to play?”

God Help the Girl is edited poorly, as Twitch Film’s Kwenton Bellette so aptly put it in Peter Martin’s second-hand summation. The entire film is shot as if it were one long music video for MTV (ahem, 90s MTV) and not the type of musical where the characters burst out in perfectly-synced choreography and well-written lyrics.

For one, the lyrics are not that good. I can’t say I’ve heard much Scottish pop music, but I don’t think I’ll be buying the soundtrack to this little diddy. And aside from Sarah Swire, who has the moves to make it into the next “Black Swan” ballet, the main characters don’t seem to know what to do with their uncontrollable limbs.

Now, Sucker Punch has a phenomenal sound track in my opinion. Browning has a truly amazing sultry kind of smoky voice when she sings, especially when she covers the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” This is why I was dying to see God Help the Girl. After the 2011 release of that particularly gnarly and confusing chick flick, I was waiting in anticipation to hear Browning sing some more.

She is also the star of another movie recently released, called Plush. She sings all the songs in this one, too, but I’ve got to say the music is dark and gritty and a skosh-bit scary as I like it. Those found in God Help the Girl, on the other hand, seem to have been written by Avril Lavigne, circa 2003. (In case you didn’t know, all the songs were adapted from the band called God Help the Girl, so I can’t blame Browning for composing them.)

All I ask is that Emily Browning gets the respect she deserves in typecast world of the Hollywood film industry, because my image of her has been tarnished by this movie (not to mention the abomination that is Pompeii.) I can’t get the image out of my head where she’s just staring at the camera like a drowsy doll in need of someone to read her diary and become hopelessly devoted to her.

Give her a chance to be weird and strange and have some personality, borderlining her role in Sleeping Beauty. At least in that film, she acted as if she were experimenting with the notion that there are different ways in which one can achieve normalcy during the coming-of-age period of life. Take a lesson from Mia Wasikowska; now there’s a young woman who has a thought or two rolling around in her head.

If you want to read an article that sounds like the exact opposite of what I’ve written here, read the review from Standby for Mind Control. Credit for the featured image goes to that website. 

(Published in Orlando’s Own Magazine.)

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