The Movie Waffler New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - MOLLY | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - MOLLY

molly 2018 movie review
In a post-apocalyptic world, a young girl with superpowers is hunted by an evil overlord.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Colinda Bongers, Thijs Meuwese

Starring: Julia Batelaan, Emma de Paauw, Joost Bolt, Annelies Appelhof

molly 2018 movie dvd

Described to me as a Dutch feminist post-apocalyptic thriller, I approached this film taking care not to indulge the anticipation that those words gave me. Happily, this lived up to the description.

The first shot of a frisbee wedged into a beachy hill, disappearing under layers of sand, artfully conveys time passing.

A young girl runs up the dunes pursued by two men. A hard fight in the sand defeats one of them but the other, after a blast from her hands reveals her to be more ("it's you, the girl from the stories") escapes her before being gunned down.

She refers to the men as "scavengers" to her pet hawk, who flies in to land on her arm and survey the damage.

Elsewhere, from within large structures on the sea, two people beg "Sir" for food and assistance as they have "come a long way," but being the obvious cruel overlord that he is, he instead opts to inject them with a blue liquid that seems to change them into something altogether less human.

molly 2018 movie review

Molly (Julia Batelaan) scavenges through an old shelter, and finding an unopened can in a sea of opened ones, she hastily shoves it into her pack; food is clearly a scarcity in this seaside apocalypse.

The cruel overlord (Deacon - the wonderfully named Joost Bolt) apparently creates and uses lesser people known as "Supplicants," and his entertainment is watching them fight - of course. He is master of ceremonies and revelling in every scenery-chewing moment of it. The Supplicants are like "The Infected" from 28 Days Later, full of rage and violence but not much else; they exist to literally rip you apart and eat you.

His prize-fighter is called The Truth and he is soon defeated by a new suit-clad Supplicant champion called, wait for it, Bob.

Meanwhile, after a fierce and damaging riverside fight, Molly befriends an abandoned child, Bailey (Emma de Paauw). Dressed in a dinosaur onesie and still futilely awaiting her parents' return, the child gives our heroine shelter for the night in her by-the-shore caravan.

When Deacon becomes aware of the existence of "The Girl" and her now-proven super powers, he wants to make her into a supplicant so she can be his new unbeatable champion. He sends out henchmen/women to capture her and that's when Molly discovers her other super power - a guttural scream that can kill (or at least maim?) all those within a certain radius.

Of course, when Deacon decides to kidnap Bailey, Molly has no choice but to fight, and boy does she bring it.

molly 2018 movie review

Molly has a finale reminiscent of the aforementioned 28 Days Later, but is remarkably a 30 minute unbroken shot – the logistics behind this is just mind boggling and a huge amount of respect must be afforded to writer/directors Colinda Bongers and Thijs Meuwese for this alone.

There is much to like here, both stylistically (the colourful, sunshiney beach setting adding a different element to the post-apocalyptic universe; fight scenes not beautifully choreographed skill-fests but steady-shot scrappy and dirty skirmishes) and in terms of script choices also.

There is a bionic-armed henchwoman called Kimmy (Annelies Appelhof) who is particularly good at containing Molly and proves a more than effective villain; an upside down fight scene is effectively dizzying.

With regards to the minimalist script, the deaths of those close to Molly, regardless of species, are handled with sensitivity (unlike this years best film Oscar winner The Shape of Water) and her new found strength and purpose when she storms the compound feels earned and righteous.

The quiet moments - such as when she is making an arrow from scratch, using the feathers from a bird she has just hunted; or when she is bathing by a river - are beautifully and thoughtfully shot. There is a memorable fight scene between Molly and a female Supplicant; and though Molly is clad only in her underpants it is never exploitive or "sexy." There is no male gaze here, just a brutal fight scene made all the harsher by Molly's vulnerable state.

Wounds are believable and painful, though injuries that should incapacitate or at least hinder are soon forgotten in an effort to move on to the next fight scene.

molly 2018 movie review

Batelaan as Molly is a revelation here. At 22 years old she carries this film with aplomb, always watchable and always believable; and I love that the kickass heroine is a freckled young woman in glasses.

At the end there is a setup for a sequel, and with a prequel already in post-production (perhaps explaining how and why Molly became "The Girl" with the superpowers), I will eagerly await the next chapter.

For the team behind Molly, the future just looks bright.

Molly is on DVD and VOD now.

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