By Daniel Cruse —
Mandy is a 2018 dark thriller directed by Panos Cosmatos, starring Nicolas Cage as Red Miller, a man living a peaceful life in the woods with his girlfriend, the titular Mandy, until a radical religious cult comes and takes her from him. He sets out on an extremely bloody, visceral, disturbing journey to seek vengeance.
This movie is framed in a surreal way with saturated visuals. An array of reds and flashing greens mixed with soft blues cover every part of the screen. This movie is a great showcase of the director’s ability and artistic style._
Mandy is a fairly traditional revenge flick, but the film style and score is so unique that it easily outshines other films from this year. The beautifully dark and overwhelming score, the bright visuals, and the sickeningly brutal violence set it above the rest.
Nicolas Cage is a hit and miss actor. Once beloved early in his career, the internet age has made him out to be nothing more than a meme to many moviegoers. Mandy, however, is an incredible display of his acting ability and Cosmatos used Cage perfectly. He was born to play an unbridled, screaming madman like Red Miller. No other actor could easily be imagined portraying such a broken and insane person. Mandy truly is the first film to use crazy Nicolas Cage to his full potential in a way that serves the story and film as a whole.
Sometimes his performance is so wild that you don’t know whether to laugh, cringe or cry. It is unsettling, but that is exactly the way it’s supposed to be. The rest of the performances were incredible as well, with Andrea Riseborough showcasing stellar talent, as well as the cult members who were just as unsettling and despicable as
they should’ve been.
This film is a surreal, viscerally engaging, disturbing and sometimes uncomfortable journey, but it’s worth every minute. Sitting in the theatre and submitting to this movie was a transcendent experience. There’s no guarantee that you’ll love this movie, but if you see it, it will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.