The film scores with its intimate period setting and underlining theme of youth defiance. Director Lena Dunham turns her focus to medieval England in her cinematic adaptation of Karen Cushman’s 1994 YA novel about a 14-year-old aristocrat girl, Catherine (Bella Ramsey) determined not to be married off by her destitute father who hopes to get propriety to his manor.
Featuring a liberal use of goats, geese and chaotic energy, the film asserts with an irreverent delight that feudal England was not a very accommodating place for any young woman.
The year is 1290. In the 13th century Medieval English village of Stonebridge, Lady Catherine is the youngest child of Lord Rollo( 41 years, often vain, usually drunk and perennially greedy) and Lady Aislinn(36 years,wise, spirited,fair of face). Her playground is Stonebridge Manor, a house that, like the family, has seen better days. Financially destitute and utterly greedy, Rollo sees his daughter as his path out of financial ruin by marrying her off to a wealthy man for money and land.
But Birdy, like all the great teen heroines, is spirited, clever and adventurous –and ready to put off any suitor that comes in increasingly ingenious ways. Her imagination, defiance and deep belief in her own right to independence put her on a collision course with her parents. When the most vile suitor of all arrives, they are presented with the ultimate test of love for their daughter.
"We are young
We run green
Keep our teeth
Nice and Clean "
Supergreen's Alright forms a largely pungent and evocative backdrop to the mudplay that Dunham uses to introduce the characters and the unfamiliar setting, forming an emphatic gaze at the perils and puberty ( the monthly menstrual cycle and tidings).
Ramsey, who was so poised as the child queen in the Game of Thrones, brings in an unmistakable notoriety and skirmish mischief to her character. The sequences with her father are compelling, and with her caretaker Morwenna are equally delightful.
Andrew Scott plays the feckless Rollo with depth and Billie Piper as Aislinn with a convincing elan. The film which was described as a passion project for Dunham ( of the HBO series Girls and the Indie movie Tiny Furniture fame) is likely to be enjoyed by a viewer with a love for the bygone era.
I go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for Catherine called Birdy. The 2 hour film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes.
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