Pieces Of A Woman premiered on 7th January 2020 on Netflix. Directed by Kornél Mundruczó, the 128-minute-long film stars Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Molly Parker, Sarah Snook, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Jimmie Fails, and Ellen Burstyn. The film also had its world premiere on 4th September 2020 at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.
Grief, Anxiety, And Motherhood
The loss of a child is something too big for any mother to let go of. Pieces Of A Woman revolves around the lives of a Boston based couple – Martha Weiss (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean Carson (Shia LaBeouf). As they expect their first child, they go for home-birth and call in for the mid-wife but this soon to be happy moment turns into a time of grief when the child soon after birth turns blue and eventually dies.
The film mostly deals with a mother’s grief and throughout its course the film makes you feel for the characters and their plight. The homebirth scene is shot in a way that it’ll bring pain, concern, and anxiety for the viewers too. You see Martha’s anxiety, excitement, and fear, you see Sean’s feared gaze and Eve’s growing dread. When the child is rushed to the hospital and fails to survive, Eve faces criminal charges, and things between Martha and Sean change forever.
Martha attempts to move on, she goes back to work, buys grocery and tries to be herself again but a piece of her is just lost forever and as soon as she tries to move on something or the other pulls her back in the void of pain and grief. Meanwhile, Sean develops into a being who’s now on the verge of outrage and relapses into his old habits.
And while Martha attempts to drown her sorrow in alcohol and meaningless flirting, she checks herself at the last instant and instead takes her all-consuming sorrow everywhere she goes. With each passing day, she disintegrates a little over herself, leaving behind an unfilled vacuum that feeds only and only on her pain and hopelessness.
The film poses not just as a film around a mother’s grief but also talks about how society makes it hard for the individual to move on and be one whole again. Furthermore, the film is so strong in everything about it including its screenplay and cast that it leaves an effect on the viewers. Vanessa Kirby as Martha here is the strongest pillar of the film, she is flawless and your heart aches for her throughout.
Summing up, Pieces Of A Woman is a drama about trauma and healing. It illustrates the disaster and the impact that it can have on the sufferers collectively. It also traces the complex paths that these individuals follow in their search for closure, bringing back to the fore their contrasting characteristics.
Pieces Of A Woman ends with Martha calling out for a girl child named Lucianna who is sitting on a well-grown and lush and flourishing apple tree. Apple has also been a reoccurring symbol in the film and they signify growth and abundance as Martha grew from her trauma, had a beautiful child, and possibly with a new partner or maybe she adopted a child. Things changed and she grew. Anyway she grew into a better person, she grew closer to her family, she experienced motherhood and everything she wished for.
Meanwhile, the apple is more than that in the film, Apple is a sign of fertility and also a sign of sin and grief (Biblical context – Eve, It is both the sign of fall of man and redemption). And apple plays the almost same role here too. Martha tells the court that her child smelled like an apple. It is more than just a fruit here.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Pieces Of A Woman is a brilliant film and manages to induce the emotions it aims for. The film is open to various ideas and interpretations and brings the best of its cast on the screen and it’s the perfect blend of emotions.
Pieces Of A Woman is now streaming on Netflix.
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