The Intended Movie Review

Who knew that in 1920s England, people would have thought that moving to Malaysia to hunt ivory would have been thought of as a good idea with a future that promises riches?

When Sarah (Janet McTeer) and her surveyor fiancee Hamish (JJ Feild) arrive in the jungle, they assume great things are on the way. But no sooner has Hamish completed his first expedition than they find the rules changing and the sad little village getting more and more disturbing. Money is withheld, sickness is contracted, murders are committed. Before long, Sarah is pathetically turning to prostitution to earn a little cash -- or even to get back the money that was stolen from her.

Shot entirely under the shadowy and wet canopy of the jungle, the period setting and hopeless story are reminiscent of The Piano (to a fault), setting it up as atmospheric chiller that you know can't end well from the first scene. While the bug-eyed McTeer can't hold a candle to Holly Hunter, she does a good job at keeping things on an even keel here, propelling the story not just as an actress, but as co-writer of the film, too. (The other writer is The King Is Alive director Kristian Levring, who here directs in a style that he calls "inspired" by the Dogme criteria).

Morosely gorgeous to watch, it's frequently hard to understand some of the dialogue (why Olympia Dukakis puts on such a thick accent I'll never know), and even harder to catch the motivations of its oddball characters. But if you make it through the end without slitting your wrists, you might find yourself having an introspectively good time.

She intends to wash her hair.


Comments

The Intended Rating

" Good "

Rating: R, 2002

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