THE NIGHTINGALE is a tense, tough one. Real world-terror is horrific and Jennifer Kent has executed a no holds barred devilish nightmare of a woman with nothing left to lose. It’s all about revenge stemming from a tensely claustrophobic scene in a cabin where one woman’s life at the mercy of three senseless, debauched soldiers destroy three lives all because one didn’t get a promotion. Stupid, idiotic, assholes! Anyone with a soul watching the first twenty minutes will well up in rage.
Aisling Franciosi (Clare) is impenetrable with such a Gaelic singing voice. She’d make angels cry, but unfortunately as such a dear, sweet, creature, her wings become violently clipped. Something unforgivable happens to her and she in essence becomes a shell of a person with nothing but rage and pain. Jennifer Kent, director of THE BABADOOK brings what some may say historically accurate horror to the face of cinema. Depicted without regard for sanitizing it for anyone because she's a true visionary. Accuracy and the unfortunate undoing of a civilization hurting one another and for what?
The story is set in 1825 where Clare, as a young Irish convict woman, hunts down a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness. She's hellbent on revenge and. enlists the help of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy. The interesting thing about Billy is he's scarred by trauma from his own past that was violent.
Rape, violence, prejudice, all the ugly things about humanity are bottled up in this hell ride, but against all odds there's beauty shared between two broken souls. I loved THE NIGHTINGALE, as savagely horrid as it is, it's also about redemption intertwined with a fearless edge harboring the will of justice. Sometimes we must lean on the shoulders of strangers to get through the darkest of times even when the world is against you. It's a horror movie for any woman who's endured the loss of those you cherish and what becomes of you in the end. A journey that's filled to the brim of hardship, conquest, and tenacity echoes to the depths of all our souls. I applaud Jennifer Kent for bringing this historical piece to the forefront, staying true to how ugly humanity's spirit can be also brings a sense of grim torment that will break your heart.