Eden

"Good"

Eden Review


Director-cowriter Megan Griffiths refuses to sensationalise the tabloid aspects of this harrowing true story about human trafficking within the USA. As she follows the central character into a nightmare of forced prostitution, the film could have easily exploited the sexual situations. Instead, she takes a matter-of-fact approach that's deeply unsettling. The filmmaking may sometimes feel a little simplistic, but it raises issues in ways we never expect.

The true story begins in 1994 New Mexico, where 18-year-old Hyun Jae (Chung) goes on a date with a seemingly nice guy (Mechlowicz) and is suddenly sold into black-market slavery. She's renamed Eden and forced to work as a prostitute alongside much younger girls. Living in a series of warehouses overseen by crooked cop Bob (Bridges), Eden continually tries to escape and is met with brutal punishment as a result. Finally, she decides that her only hope is to get close to their pimp Vaughan (O'Leary), a young veteran with a drug-addiction problem. But as she gets to know him, she realises that he's trapped as well.

The film explores much more complex aspects of the captive-captor relationship, as Eden becomes increasingly close to Vaughan, helping him with his work and even ratting out some of the other girls who break the rules. Of course, there's an event that snaps Eden back to attention, leading to the necessary confrontation. But all the way through, filmmaker Griffiths focuses on the psychological and emotional side of the story, leaving much of the actual violence and sexual abuse off-screen. Just a bit more detail, and a clearer sense of the chain of events, might have made the film's gut-punch much stronger.

On the other hand, without needing to portray the darker physical side of things, Chung is able to focus on Eden's internal struggles. Meanwhile, the brothel seems unusually clean, with mandated twice-daily showers and regular medical care, even as these women are victims of hideous degradation. This means that the "villains" are much more layered than we expect. So against our better judgment, we begin to like O'Leary's pimp right along with Eden. And that's the thing that chills us most of all.



Eden

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th July 2013

Distributed by: Phase 4 Films

Production compaines: Eden Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Megan Griffiths

Producer: , Colin Harper Plank

Starring: as Eden, as Bob Gault, as Vaughan, as The Nurse, Naama Kates as Svetlana, as Jesse

Also starring: ,


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

45 Years Movie Review

45 Years Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Advertisement
Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Advertisement