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Nanny Review

Nanny is a film that weaves emotions of the past, present, and future. It displays a juxtaposition of what is right and wrong when dealing with tough situations. Nanny is filled with positive vibes in its opening. Just moments after that though, it begins to heighten with disagreements. The anxiety of the characters in Nanny become strong and harrowing mental terror is visually portrayed. Nanny soars with tension in various moments. The film, however, is not great because its continuity is miscalculated.

Nanny’s plot is played out in New York City. The film introduces us to Aisha, played by Anna Diop. Aisha is an immigrant who is hired to be a nanny by Amy, played by Michelle Monaghan, and Adam, played by Morgan Spector. They put her in charge of watching their daughter Rose, played by Rose Decker. Aisha loves her job taking care of Rose. It distracts her from the many troubles of her own past. The mood for Aisha starts to shift when Amy begins to fall behind on paying her. Aisha finds herself having to talk to Adam behind Amy’s back. As the miscommunication starts getting out of hand, Aisha’s own reality begins to tarnish. Her tensions remind her of the past, and she finds herself mentally losing control. As disagreements begin to intensify with all the parties involved, the more the terror evolves.

Aisha’s frustrations with Amy and Adam are what causes her anxiety to spin out-of-control. It is the same way for Amy. As Amy keeps putting off the payments for Aisha, Nanny gets more vivid with strange illusions. The scary imagery of Aisha’s past keeps haunting her, and it begins to impact her job performance with Rose. The outcomes Aisha’s behavior become irreparable and surreal. Nanny proves its point of consequence by creatively showing what is in Aisha’s mind. The trail of Aisha’s past is not forgotten, so Rose may be in danger under Aisha’s care. Nanny lures its viewers by utilizing tracks of strange imagery tied to Aisha’s emotions. I found this utterly gnarly.

Nanny is an invigorating film with a captivating plot. I found it lacking because of how over-done Aisha’s mental images are. For example, there is a moment where she envisions something horrific in a swimming pool. Was this supposed to be an evil mermaid-type of omen? Isthis a psychological movie trying to be a version of The Shape of Water (2017)? If so, its fantasy moments like this were unappealing to me.  The execution was mediocre and not of importance to Nanny’s central problem.

Despite the strange mermaid moment, Nanny makes sense thanks to its underlying tensions. It is the mental horrors where the film crosses the line. Perhaps the goal was to make the audience feel like it is a fantasy.  Unfortunately, it is not one. Instead, it is a film about a lady trying to make an income, while also trying to get her life together after a harsh past. Sadly, the creative process causes this film to go way overboard.

My explanation to help put this film into context is that Nanny falls under the genres of horror and thriller. It is more psychological terror mixed with exaggerated emotions. The film does not know when to stop adding more elements. The over-exaggerations are what causes Nanny to be just mediocre and make the movie not make sense in certain moments. Two and a half stars for Nanny.

Breaking Review

Life can be unfair, and being in financial crisis to the point of it causing a mental breakdown is devastating on many levels. In Breaking, a film based on actual events, director Abi Damaris Corbin explores the irreparable damages that can arise from such devastating circumstances.

Breaking is about a 2017 event where Brian Brown-Easley, played by John Boyega, held up a Wells Fargo bank because was not receiving his disability checks. The depiction of Brian’s anxiety and of the robbery in Breaking is stark and surreal. The surrealism is heightened through the performance of Boyega. His anxiety is not only incredibly high, but it is also high for those he puts at risk—and for the world that is watching the chaos he has created. The crazy part is, he wants all that attention.

Breaking begins with a heavy introduction to Brian’s anxiety, his financial struggles and other mental issues. He tries to communicate the best he can to find alternatives or solutions to his financial issues. But with many debts and other stressors, he makes a very unfortunate decision. He casually walks into a Wells Fargo Bank and makes it obvious to bank employees Estel and Rosa, played by Nicole Beharie and Selena Leyva, that he is robbing the bank. He tells Estel and Rosa what to do quietly, but the danger rises when he tells them to alert the police and the media. Hostage negotiator Eli Bernard, played by Michael Kenneth Williams arrives and believes he can help Brian find a guiding light, but is there a light to be found?

The negotiations between Boyega and Williams raised several questions for me. Why is Brian taking the incredible risks he is taking? How did he decide that holding up a bank would solve his problems? What is Eli’s plan as the negotiator? The answers are concrete, but the situation is complicated.

he unpredictable nature of the situation makes Breaking invigorating, but tense and unpleasant in an exciting way. And given the seriousness of Brian’s decision to rob a bank, the film’s audience will know that there will be consequences no matter the result of the negotiations. Overall, though the film is an exhilarating and dramatic, engaging yet heavy, cinematic experience. Three stars for Breaking.