Fantasia 2020 Review: MARYGOROUND Reflects on What it Means to be Independent
There aren't very many films made about women over a certain age (especially in America). That's because financiers tend to be overwhelmingly male, and they want to see movies made about and for them, by people who also look like them.
Marygoround is not one of those movies.
Playing virtually via the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival, Marygoround is directed by Daria Woszek. The film centers on Mary, an older woman and grocery store clerk with a fabulous red dye job that belies the fact that she's a deeply religious woman, as well as a virgin who collects statues of the Virgin Mary (a representation of herself) obsessively. (She's also usually kind of lonely, but her niece Helena (Helena Sujecka) comes to visit often and becomes more or less of a roommate.)
About to turn 50 and feeling the unwanted effects of menopause, Mary gets a prescription of hormone replacement patches from her doctor. The film, which was already vivid and candy colored with wonderful production design, gets even more saturated with passionate red and beautiful teal hues as those hormones kick in. Those patches do wonders for her; in fact, the character seems to wonder if she'd ever really felt alive.
Well, things get a little insane. There's a Jesus portrait who watches her as she bathes, and there's a bizarre encounter with a male fashion store clerk that's prone to giving scarves to women as gifts. In other words, things are joyful, jovial, and fabulous --- with the assistance of many bottles of wine --- until they're not, in a shocking dinner confrontation. Then there's the weird hulking co-worker that eyes Mary, whom we sense is just as clumsy in romance as he is in his sartorial choices.
While there are certainly some questionable decisions on Mary's end, as well as some turbulence in terms of growth, Mary comes to realize that she can live on her own terms without need of religion, or men.
Hauntingly creepy hallucinations and spats with other clerks aside, Mary transforms from a veritable chrysalis into a butterfly in her quest to feel like her own human being. Marygoround is a beautiful study in the need for independence --- a truth for many women.
Canadian viewers can watch the encore presentation of Marygoround via Fantasia on Monday, Aug. 31 at 5:30pm. Tickets can be accessed (as well as the film's trailer) via the festival's site for the page here.
- Daria Woszek
- Sylwester Piechura
- Aleksandra Swierk
- Daria Woszek
- Grazyna Misiorowska
- Janusz Chabior
- Barbara Kurzaj
- Magdalena Kolesnik