A scathing commentary on today’s culture of capitalism where anything can go ‘viral’. Vox Lux review brought to you by AboutFlick’s Mr T.
Director: Brady Corbet
Review: Vox Lux is a refreshing take on a familiar story. It charts the journey of a thirteen-year-old girl, who refuses to be a victim of a shooting incident in high school and instead, uses it to carve her way into stardom. The story is divided into three parts: Prelude 1999, Act I: Genesis 2000-2001 and Act II: Regenesis 2017. In the first two, we find out how young Celeste Montgomery is catapulted to overnight fame and how she deals with it. The second act fast forwards to 2017, and presents Celeste as a jaded and paranoid individual plagued by scandals, alcohol and substance abuse.
Now, I don’t care that the third act deals with issues like rebirth, but the same actor should never be playing the parent and child in the same movie. It is just too ridiculous to ignore for a movie rooted in realism. It does help though that Raffey Cassidy nails all her parts. Her portrayal of young Celeste as a girl next door trying to cope with her newfound celebrity status is faultless, and as Albertine, Celeste’s daughter, she is the perfect embodiment of modern-day teenage angst in the latter half. Supporting roles by Jude Law and Stacy Martin, as well as Willem Dafoe’s inimitable narration, adds depth to the film.
But the real showstopper of the show is Natalie Portman. She has always been vocal about being objectified at the beginning of her career after her debut in Leon: The Professional (1994), and she brings some of her real-life experience into Celeste. Portman effortlessly alternates between a diva with obnoxious behaviour, and a vulnerable woman suffering from Impostor syndrome. She captivates the audience, not unlike the character she is playing, and when the concert begins in the final act, one gets engrossed in the slick visuals and becomes oblivious of everything else going on.
Vox Lux never plays it safe or gets bogged down by traditional story arcs. It is a scathing commentary on today’s culture of capitalism, where talent isn’t a necessity. Anything can go ‘viral’ and everything is a product. It successfully examines the glamorous and the not so glamorous side of modern-day internet sensationalism which can make anyone a household name at any moment, and turn on them the other. It’s a very ambitious film, and this is what ‘A Star Is Born’ always should have been.
Rating: My rating for Vox Lux is 4/5.
Who should watch this: If you like moody musical dramas, you should watch Vox Lux. You should also check out Black Swan (2010), Control (2007) and Sid And Nancy (1986).