When a new Nicolas Cage movie comes out, it’s either some generally mainstream film he walks through because he needs the money, OR, it’s a smaller independent film where we see glimpses of the Nic Cage we used to know and love.
Thankfully, Mandy is one of the latter. Iin fact, it may be everything I hoped it would be.
Directed by Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow) and co-written by him and Aaron Stewart-Ahn, Mandy is pretty much as bonkers as the trailers led us to believe it would be. Words I might use to describe Mandy are, phantasmagoric, hallucinigenic, and a fully sensory experience you likely won’t soon forget.
The official synopsis:
Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life.
If you like Panos Cosmatos’ first film, Beyond the Black Rainbow, you should like this , too. Though, where Black Rainbow was a film with science fiction elements, Mandy is a film with more horror elements. They both, however, have a very 1980’s feel.
The director, Cosmatos, introduced the screening and made it clear that Mandy was less about a complex narrative, and more about sound and imagery. I would concur whole-heartedly. yeah, I get it; sometimes that’s code for “thin plot and lots of weird shit”. And for many people, that may be what they feel about this unique film. But what it lacks in plot complexity, it more than makes up in style.
But let’s be fair here, too. Mandy is NOT a mainstream film. This will NOT appeal to the masses. It’s stylistically an indie film. It will surely find a strong cult following, however, and anyone that wants to see Nic Cage in one of his more delightfully insane performances, will surely gravitate to it.
Mandy is essentially a revenge movie shot very uniquely with a specific style. Portions are dreamlike, some are nightmarish, and some are simply trippy. Lots of loud, extended guitar notes, LOTS of red light filters, and some scenes not for the squeamish. The film is not rated, but it’s for grown-ups, for sure. You will likely see a side of Linus Roache you’ve never seen before. No, really.
Mandy is out in left field, a very dark, drug-fueled revenge field. And I enjoyed it all very much. The main cast of Nic Cage, Andrea Riseborough, and Linus Roache, are, well, great for this kind of film.
Nic Cage’s Red Miller goes on a wonderfully bonkers revenge spree after a cult leader decides he wants Miller’s woman and then kills her. The film starts slow, with long weird takes and dialogue, but it all pays off with sufficient insanity that I was terribly pleased with.
Mandy is one film you won’t forget and I’m in for 4 kittenhands. If weird, trippy, horror-type films are your bag, this will satisfy for sure. And we get to see Nic Cage be crazy and intense. Me like.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, really happy this did not disappoint.