Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Film Reviews: The Company of Wolves (1984)

Ilmi Omar
The Company of wolves

Neil Jordan’s approach to “The Company Of Wolves” is very surreal to say the least. The film is told through Rosaleen ‘s (Sarah Patterson) dreams, a teenage girl going through puberty and with that there a lot of sexual references attached to it. It is somewhat a fantasy of this girl as she lies in bed turning and twisting to say as though she was in orgasmic moment. There her grandmother Angela Lansbury warns her to never trust a man in the woods alone specially one whose eyebrows meet in the middle.

This is not a children’s film. “The Company of Wolves is about werewolves and little girls and deep, dark forests” (Ebert, 1985), It has an older, darker spin on the little red riding hood themes. This film takes a contemporary approach to a teenager growing up into adolescence. She dreams about a huntsman who wants to have a sexual relationship with her in a sense takes away all of her innocence. In this modern age we attach sexual reference to huntsman in forests making them handsome muscular and manly. In this film one handsome huntsman in the forest lures Rosaleen as she forgets everything her grandmother warned her off.

“A wolf is much more then he seems” (Granny, The Company of Wolves). The men in this film take all of the leading roles up; this again signifies the presence of male in Rosaleen’s dreams. The film cuts from a scene to a scene, which makes you lose your balance because it’s difficult to keep up with. Another scene where we acknowledge that this girl maturing into a young woman is when she climbs a tree to find a mirror, a jar with lipstick in it and the eggs that crack revealing small figures of a baby. This symbolizes the awareness of women being able to give birth.

The transformation of the werewolf is another key ingredient for this film. They all go under different visual change to the typical metamorphosis. Going from skin falling off the body to a wolf pushing it self out from the mouth. The individual change of each werewolf could represent those individual differences in personality.

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Roger Ebert
Published April 22, 1985

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