By Lucas Battista

Streaming on Netflix. Starring Nicola Peltz Beckham, Raven Goodwin, Richie Merritt and Luke David (2024).

“Lola” presents itself as a collage of traumatic snippets into the life of a young woman embroiled in poverty and an unforgiving household. It keeps reaching for some kind of artistic profundity, and drops the ball every time, as the audience is held down to watch one terrible thing happen after the next with no purpose or underlying meaning.

Although there is no manifesto that dictates how movies must be written and presented, they tend to be much more entertaining and thought-provoking when there is a uniting narrative. There have been plenty of exceptions to this rule but suffice to say when every single facet of a movie down to mise-en-scène are interlocked and connected in some way, it makes the movie as a whole more powerful.

The message of “Lola” is entirely opaque. In a way, it almost picks its tools out of the same doctor’s bag a provocateur like Lars von Trier might use, but instead of showing something ultra-gory or shocking it’s slide after slide of poverty-porn. There might as well be a big sign tacked to the screen saying, “Look at these people, look how poor they are!” It’s cliched to death, zapped alive by Dr. Frankenstein and cliched to death again.

The movie is caked in ten layers of phoniness, it doesn’t compel emotionally, offer something new, highlight an aspect of our society we aren’t tacitly aware of already, and frankly seems like an unrealistic fantasy conjured by a rich person begging for it to be recognized as high art more than anything. There is no planet or reality where this film is not out of touch. The only really rehabilitating thing this movie does right is how it drowns itself in affective things like style and brave camerawork, and some okay performances, but at its heart there is absolutely nothing but an empty chasm; it doesn’t tick.

Would it be any shock then that the film’s director and star, Nicola Peltz, the daughter of a billionaire and a model, married into the Beckham family? It’s frustrating to see someone with no real experience in directing handed the wheel to a movie like this and creating something truly bankrupt of talent. I have a couple of questions, and it wouldn’t be for Ms. Peltz, but for whoever produced this movie. My first one might be “How exactly did you intend to make some kind of return off of this?” and “Who loosened your straitjacket?”

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *