Words on the Internet

these are my stream of consciousness reviews and thoughts. i don't proofread before publishing so forgive the editing or lack thereof 

LOVE WITCH (2016)

Stylistically fun… for the first half. Then you're over it and wondering where the story's substance is. 

It’s a dryly acted, colorfully designed, super weird satire on what women do to appeal to men. It focuses on a witch who focuses on ‘sex magic’ - which is a loose idea surrounding women focusing on femininity and sexuality to appeal to men. 

While the satirical premise is interesting, the protagonist wasn’t likable - either as a result of the extremely stilted acting or the fact that her goals seemed malicious (seducing men, that often results in their death). 

For satires to be effective, I think you need to have the protagonist as the foil to the situation - they almost provide the commentary or represent the audience. However in Love Witch, the protagonist is the thing being satirized. So you’re not (and i don’t think the filmmaker wants you to be) rooting for her, which is a weird thing to do as a viewer for 90 minutes. 

Additionally, I would have loved to see more humor in the situations and dialogue. The movie seems to rest on theme and production design, then sort of ‘mail in’ the dialogue. It’s quirky in moments but general dry. You want to laugh and are in the mood to given the acting and the production design, but they leave you hanging most of the time. 

Not sure if the film’s missteps are easy corrections or at the core. Would love to see the same story told from a different character’s perspective (not the Love Witch). Then we could see the Love Witch’s character as a more acute satirical messenger: a girl who’s evil but just trying to do her best with the rules that society has laid out. Maybe we focus on the detective?

Glad I saw it because stylistically it was a refreshing reminder as to what films can be but wouldn’t rank this one very highly.