Scarlett Johansson takes on the role of Laura in Johnathan Glazer’s latest full- length feature. Not entirely a sci-fi thriller, not quite a horror film; definitely an existential question raiser, totally mesmerising, and plugged with a personalised soundtrack that will haunt you to the core.
Johansson’s character doesn’t exactly talk much throughout the film, other than to use her feminine charms to pick up random strangers- all men, from the roadsides of a dreary looking Glasgow. Maybe it’s her fake fur and garish makeup that allows her to woe these soon-to-be-sorry males? Although that might not even matter, as Glazer has made his film about ‘film’, as much as he has made it about his content. Confused?
Under the Skin’s unfolding plot comes with emphasis on its method. Many of the roadside scenes were improvisations shot on hidden cameras, and some of the men she stops to have conversations with have no idea that they might be talking to Scarlett Johansson. The visuals are the main resource of speech throughout. Many of the scenes provoke so much emotion alone, that there need not be anything more.
Without giving away too much, as I think you should all watch it for yourselves, it seems to me that the main underlying theme is questioning ‘what it is that makes us human’. Standing open to feminist readings, and definitely portraying extreme loneliness at its worst. Under the Skin seems set to do exactly that; be prepared for it to get under yours.