Skyler Johnson ‘22 Comics Section Editor
You don’t often see movies set in the 1800s. There are countless movies regarding the 1900s but few set in this period- save for films about the Civil War. This is probably because in American History, there seems to only be the pre-Civil War, the Civil War, and the post-Civil War. Then the 1900s happen. However, there was plenty that went on in the 1800s. It was an entire century, after all.
Set in this time, The World to Come follows the romantic relationship between two married women farmers.
There is a chilling and beautiful atmosphere present throughout the film. The way that the world is conceived and how the people interact within it is something that’s both intriguing and unique. The characters have a particular way of speaking that isn’t shown, and have a unique and terrifying brutality that comes with the setting. You wouldn’t want to meet these people in real life.
The movie is also beautiful in its setting. Both characters live on cozy farms that overlook beautiful mountains. They bake bread and drink wine in pretty glasses. The film doesn’t glamorize their lifestyles, it doesn’t make the 1800s look like the Ritz, but I wouldn’t be opposed to living there.
There was also a nice soundtrack to compliment the movie. It matched the tone perfectly.
The film’s main failure was in its execution. While the characters were compelling on a surface level, with a secret LGBT relationship at the forefront, the film failed to develop or resolve this conflict in a proper way. It’s hard to tell whether the protagonist is a lesbian or bisexual. She has sex with her husband, yet it’s never clear whether or not it’s because of pity or because she enjoyed it. This makes the scene in which she’s with her girlfriend problematic, as it’s seen as an affair and not an actual relationship.
Adding to this is the fact that this woman experienced the death of a child, which makes this relationship seem like the result of guilt and not of love. This is not the only problematic part of the film. There’s also the inclusion of the classic cinema trope: burying of the gays, where an LGBT character is killed because of their sexuality.
While atmospherically interesting, this is a problematic movie that you might want to avoid.