Review: 'Saltburn' tells effective story - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Review: 'Saltburn' tells effective story


The 2023 movie "Saltburn" is currently streaming on Amazon Prime video.  Image from Citizens Can't

Abby Cowels

Four out of Five Stars

By Abby Cowels
Staff Writer 

“Saltburn” which hit movie theaters in 2023, is directed by Emerald Fennel. It is a black comedy/murder mystery film set in Northamtonshire, England. It is currently streaming on Amazon Prime video.

Oliver (Berry Keoghan) is a first-year Oxford student. Unlike his peers, he comes from an underprivileged family. After meeting Felix (Jacob Elordi), he is invited to stay the summer on Felix’s lavish family estate, where he seems to adjust to this lifestyle comfortably.

The film leaves viewers questioning throughout what Oliver’s intentions truly are. At times he is the meek, and rather awkward guest of Felix. At other times, he is dominating and over-confident. The film plays with the themes classism, greed and willful ignorance.

“Saltburn” is a very overwhelming film to watch, in both good and some bad ways. At times it feels a bit gratuitous with the visual storytelling, yet I still found elements of the visual storytelling to be captivating and almost necessary.

The film was beautifully edited. Long Scorsese-like shots built an intricate geography of the estate, and created so much chemistry and tension between characters. It is apparent that Fennel had her vision of the film come to fruition; there is so much care put into the cinematography.

The characters were both compelling and insufferable, which only emphasizes the internal conflict that is evoked during viewing. There are no redeemable characters. Each has their own reprehensible attitudes and behaviors about them.

Audiences hated it. Critics hated it a little less. Personally, I failed to see what was so “pretentious” or “ineffective” about the story.

It is not so unlike Bong Joon-ho’s 2019 film “Parasite.” When it comes to corruption and the socio-economic issues brought from wealth disparity, you have no choice but to bite the hand that feeds you, or forever be a subordinate.



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