I watched this movie about a week ago and I cannot for the life of me get it out of my head (this has made all my other screening rather difficult). The real question about screening this film was, what do I talk about? After watching this film the only thing I could post to Facebook and Twitter was a simple adjective: Harrowing.
So, before I get more into that a little setup.
The film seems to revolve around Nadya who serves as our eyes and ears for the most part. Nadya (a 13 year old Siberian girl) is plucked from her family’s cottage and promised a lucrative life modeling in Japan by a modeling agency. Ashley, a former model now very jaded scout (but still quite young), discovers Nadya, and quickly sends her off to Tokyo with a promise of modeling jobs and $8,000. In Tokyo we see how difficult it can be for young Nadya.
I was watching Blow Up last night and thinking of this film.
For me these films raised the question of truth and beauty. In Blow Up the camera tells the truth however in Girl Model it is a lie, this makes both films terrifyingly real.
Through Girl Model we see the world as a nightmare for Nadya. She is sent to Tokyo alone with no one to talk to and sent from agency to agency while unraveling from homesickness and pressure to get jobs. You really empathized with her struggle through out the film. However, I would have liked to see it go a bit deeper and see her candidly talk about her struggle.
To me Ashley’s storyline was much more interesting. We see her jaded searching for the next model from Siberia, while she knows the pain and suffering that she will cause this girl. This is shown through a series of old videos of Ashley lamenting her time in Tokyo. It’s sadistic but the pathos is amazing. Culminating is the scene with the cyst, I will not tell you more but the symbolism is amazing.
I truly felt the dreamy nightmares of this film.
It is more passive than an active criticism (many will see this as a fault but I see it as more interesting). This could have been a bold social criticism like last year’s Bully (that I hated for a lack of scope) but it remained its voice thought the feature and it really paid off for me.
Girl Model is available for purchase on Amazon.com
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: 4 blond hair cysts out of 5
Review by Bro’ B – Ben
We received product to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own.