I had the chance to watch Emerald Fennell’s sophomore film Saltburn prior to its release to theaters later this month on November 22nd. Spoiler-free––let me tell you my thoughts.
The summary on Rotten Tomatoes is this:
“Struggling to find his place at Oxford University, student Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten.”
So, not much to go off of. Essentially all it says is: Awkward Outcast Guy goes to Likable Popular Guy’s house for the summer.
Whatever you think the movie is about, you’re not prepared. The summary gives absolutely nothing away, and I’m so glad. Even the trailer doesn’t tell the audience much other than some up close and personal shots of Jacob Elordi and party scenes. The trailer teases Euphoria-like scenes reminiscent of The Great Gatsby with a deeply ominous undertone.
A story about extravagant wealth, forbidden relationships, and horrifying perversion, it’s certainly not the deepest movie I’ve ever had the experience of watching but it sure was entertaining. Elordi and Keoghan both give stunning performances regardless of the plot––Keoghan especially.
They also weren’t too bad to look at, one of my roommates turned to me at the conclusion of the film and said, “I finally get the obsession with Jacob Elordi now. Oh my God.” Another friend said she left the theater “absolutely feral.” So, take from that what you will.
Watching the movie was experiencing shock after shock, leaving the small preshowing room audience gasping and audibly reacting in horror as we progressed through the movie. You can kind of see what’s about to happen several times and you think to yourself, “They wouldn’t actually do that…” Yes. Yes, they would.
It had so many twists and turns, that I can’t tell if I liked the movie just because I actually liked it or just for the shock factor. And you know what, I’m not even mad about it.
Everyone I talked to enjoyed the experience (however bizarre the film was). Whether they liked the movie varied, but overall it was deeply entertaining for everyone.
The two-hour and seven-minute movie is deeply disturbing, raunchy, and surprisingly funny. I implore you to go see this movie upon its release. Whatever you think you’ll see––it won’t be that.
I will say this: by the end, you won’t be able to look at a drain the same way ever again.