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Womb (2010)

Being a fan of French femme fatale Eva Green isn't always easy when many of her latest film projects have been independently released in other countries and take forever to make their way to the United States.  Much like Cracks (which still hasn't been released in the United States, but luckily is available DVD & Blu-ray in the UK) Womb is another example of a film I've read about for over a year and only recently been able to get my hands on.  If you've thought Green's choice of roles in the past have been rather eccentric and bizarre, Womb is in an entirely different galaxy!  It's an incredibly simplistic film with an incredibly controversial subject matter and leaves a hefty impression on the viewer when it's over.

Womb takes place in a small seaside village where a young girl named Rebecca meets an odd and outspoken boy named Thomas.  The two seem to hit it off quite well and not only become good friends but form a childhood romance.  One day Rebecca tells Tommy she's leaving, her mother has taken a job in Japan and they're moving tomorrow.  Tommy promises to see her off the next day but never shows up.  Twelve years later Rebecca (Eva Green) returns to the small village in search for Tommy (Dr. Who's Matt Smith), who is still as off kilter as ever.  The two seem to pick up exactly where they left off twelve years ago seemingly very much in love, until tragedy strikes and Tommy's hit by a car and killed.

Love stricken, shell shocked, and feeling responsible for his death, Rebecca decides to bring Tommy back through the process of cloning but this is not Arnold Schwarzenegger The 6th Day type cloning, Rebecca must give birth to Tommy's clone and raise him from an infant.  Now playing the role of Tommy's mother, Rebecca watches as the young boy she loved as a child grows into the young man she loved and lost not long ago.  A young man that only knows her as his mother, thus creates some rather uncomfortable moments as Rebecca is seemingly torn between her past relationship with the real Tommy and this copy that's essentially her son.

At face value Womb is usually a film I'd stray away as it meets all the stereotypical criteria of an artsy independent film that I usually cringe at.  Very little dialogue, lots of quiet gaps and a large focus on scenery shots.  But this one worked for me for two reasons, Eva Green and an incredibly bizarre and unique plot that keeps you interested.  I don't know what the goal of the writer and director were with Womb, but the film made me question the motives of the main character more so than the actual idea of cloning, as I thought film turned out to be a grand example of why cloning an individual would be a horrible idea (not even taking into consideration the moral and spiritual arguments).  

Did Rebecca hope to be reunited with a lover or simply want to give Tommy a second chance at a life she felt responsible for being cut so short?  So many scenes will sway you in both directions and the rather awkward ending (awkward to watch) will probably still ultimately leave you wondering.  To me Womb really is more a film about a woman's inability to cope with a loss which leads her to clone her boyfriend in an attempt to hold onto a relationship she had recently regained after twelve years of separation.  That kind of sounds romantic until the film progresses into a territory that almost borders, if not crosses, the line into incest.  

Another aspect I found a little confusing was the passage of time throughout the film, as Rebecca never seems to physically age.  Is Tommy growing up in a matter of a year or is he developing at the rate of a normal human being?  The passage of time was never referred to, and I found it odd that Tommy seemed to age quickly, at least compared to how little Rebecca aged, yet he never question this, nor did the few friends he had that seemed to come and go.  

Overall, as with Cracks I was quite pleased with the overall experience of Womb.  It's a unique film that stays with you days after you've watched it.  Eva Green gives a grand performance as a emotionally tortured character, similar in the sense as her Cracks character but also very different in that Rebecca is quite reserved in her emotional corrosion, while Green's Cracks character was very outspoken and energetic and her crash and burn much more disastrous and dramatic.  For best performance I still have to stick with Cracks, still two very similar characters in terms of their issues yet complete opposites in terms of their expressions of those issues and how it all eventually blows up.    In end in, Womb is a difficult film to rate (which it also shares in common with Cracks), so until I have the opportunity to watch it again I'm going with my gut.


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