Fresh Review: Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones’ Thriller Is Disturbing or Empowering?

The 2022 release Fresh marks the directorial debut of Mimi Cave and is based on a screenplay by Lauryn Kahn. The film has a panel of acclaimed producers that includes Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick and Maeve Cullinan. The production companies for this movie involves Legendary Pictures and Hyperobject Industries and is getting distributed by Searchlight Pictures. The cinematography for the film is by Pawel Pogorzelski, with editing by Martin Pensa and music by Alex Somers.

The thriller features Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones stars as Noa with Marvel’s Winter Soldier Sebastian Stan as Steve/Brendan in central roles. The other cast members include Jonica T. Gibbs as Millie, Charlotte Le Bon as Ann, Dayo Okeniyi as Paul, Andrea Bang as Penny and Brett Dier as Chad. Hulu’s new release has a runtime of 114 minutes.

– Hulu’ Fresh Review Does Not Contain Spoilers –

Fresh: Unusual Appetities

The theme of eating human flesh, popularly known as cannibalism, which is the central theme of this film isn’t a new concept. From Mad Mikkelsen in the iconic Hannibal to Bhaskar Hazarika’s critically acclaimed Aamis aka Ravening to Julia Ducournau’s French cult classic Raw, the topic has been widely explored through different plotlines and experiences. Hulu’s latest film, Fresh takes the already explored genre and, gives it a splash of love in a cannibalistic way and, disturbing twists that include the horrors of being smitten by your date and the urge to survive irrespective of hitting rock bottom.

Fresh serves as a satire for the modern dating, or more like swiping, world. We meet Daisy Edgar-Jones’ Noa going on one of her online dates where the guy, obviously, turns out to be a privileged douchebag. We all stand in Noa’s shoes of understanding how difficult dating is, especially since everyone can have a pretentious projection online. But, things that a sweeter turn for Noa when she comes across Sebastian Stan’s Steve at the supermarket. Hitting it on the right note, we find the two on their first date soon enough which leads to a hot and happening night.

The film aids the growth of the courtship between Noa and Steve with some meaningful conversations, fun moments and, music. Soon enough, we find Steve asking Noa out on a getaway, which even though is a huge red flag because they don’t really know each other, Noa says yes because Steve’s decency and politeness have smitten her. This surely makes us realize how low the bar is set for men to be attractive and trustworthy.

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The getaway takes a horrifying turn when the duo lands up in Steve’s apartment before heading out to their destination. Noa’s drink is spiked and when she wakes up later to find herself handcuffed on the floor and Steve sitting with a smug on a chair, she understands how badly she is stuck in a mess she never wished for. Steve reveals the reason behind Noa being captured and, yes, cannibalism plays a huge role in the entire film as meaning and metaphor. The question, however, remains if Noa will ever get out of the cage she is now trapped in or, will be meat it all out and, die?

Fresh: Final Verdict

Fresh is a film that tries to handle and address too many social issues all at once. It will point fingers at patriarchy and sexism, topics that require weight. However, it constantly tries to lighten up the horrifying truths with its screenplay too. Man-eating is a metaphor, well-executed but, there is a miss in the delivery somewhere that leaves the audience both liking and, disliking the film. The visual grammar in the film speaks aeons. Especially scenes that focus on the close up of the mouth, addressing both sensuality and aversion.

The actors are the ones who actually bring out the colours in this film. Sebastian Stan is exceptionally well and, it is nice to see him be much more than Bucky Barnes by taking up such challenging roles. Daisy-Edgar Jones is yet another actor who deserves all the praise, even for the bare minimum she does. Both the actors shine equally in this film, making it worth the watch.

Fresh tries its hand well in the horror genre. It truly disturbs us. But, it tries to be more empowering in its narrative. A film that is similar to the tone of this Hulu release is surely the 2020 Emerald Fennell film Promising Young Woman which stars Carey Mulligan in one of her most career-defining roles.

You can watch the Fresh movie now on streaming on Hulu.

Also Read: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Season 2 Review: The Heroes are Back to Save Eternos From Skeletors

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

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SUMMARY

Hulu's Fresh movie is disturbing to watch but, underneath all the horrors is it trying to empower us?

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Hulu's Fresh movie is disturbing to watch but, underneath all the horrors is it trying to empower us? Fresh Review: Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones' Thriller Is Disturbing or Empowering?