Spoilers ahead for Penny Dreadful and Open Water
It is quite okay to want to feel fulfilled and happy when you spend your head-earned money at the cinema or time from your schedule investing in a Netflix show. The ones that however stay the longest with me are those that leave me unsettled and upset, sending me into that unpleasant vortex filled with moments of despair and self-reflection.
Open Water is a budget film that ends with a punch to the gut to the audience who have been rooting for a couple left behind by their boat in shark-infested waters. The lead submits to the waiting sharks who she had been keeping at arm’ s length from her and her dying husband through the runtime of the film. The same for Vanessa Ives essayed by the formidable Eva Green, where she gives into evil just for her trials to end, an almost suicidal act. There is no happy ending for a character that kept the audience guessing for three solid seasons, with her small but almost assured victories. Great romances like Moulin Rouge, Gone with the Wind, Titanic and Age of Innocence also come to mind, that movies always don’t have to quite leave you feeling joyful and triumphant.
We live in a world where the forces of evil are always nipping at our heels, and we all try to overcome our hardships by sticking to the ideals of positivity, but kudos for these story-tellers for spelling out life as it is for some. People do give up. Sometimes there are no happy endings. While it makes for hard-viewing, it reminds us that our lives are better off in at least some ways and that evil is very real.
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