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Rotten Bananas- Emily  

Himika Akram reporter 

One of my favorite movie genre is ‘period drama.’ It is not a recent preference, I have loved that genre since a very young age. Movies like Pride & Prejudice, Becoming Jane, Little Woman, The Favourite, Vanity Fair, Emma. I love imagining that era when there was no internet, no telecommunication; people mostly used to live in the rural settings, they had to use inkpots even to write a letter. This was the primary reason I watched this movie ‘Emily’ with high expectations, I was not disappointed at all. This movie was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022, but will be released in the USA on Feb. 17. 

This is the directorial debut in feature film category by the actress cum filmmaker Frances O’Connor. ‘Emily’ is the imagined life-story of the English novelist and one of the most famous authors of the world Emily Brontë, who wrote only one book named Wuthering Heights and died at a very young age of only 30 due to tuberculosis.  

There is not much information this author, so, it is difficult to know for us how was she in her personal life. Director handled that job with her imagination and whatever little is known from her diaries which was not regularly written and was a blurred vision between her reality and imagination. Though a shy, introvert, talented woman who died an untimely death makes us imagine that her life might have been really sad and lonely, but this movie did not choose that route. Instead, it revolved around the strength of her character. The rebel, misfit, genius lady who refused to succumb to the pressure her family and society put on her shoulder which created a barrier to her ‘childish’ writing fantasies, and the personal and artistic freedom she always longed for.  

Her father forced her to be a teacher despite she did not like to meet new people. It is even possible to assume that she might have autism, but director left it on our imagination with a slight hint, but did not force that on the character.  She had lots of mystery around her and it was not easy to understand her because of her depth, it is that side of her character director wanted to focus on.  

Emma Mackey did proper justice to the character. Her soul-piercing eyes were a great asset to give life to the character who was shy and reluctant; but with a very vivid thought process. Her angular face was perfect for the character who was calm, quiet and vulnerable outside yet quite stubborn inside.  

As I said in the beginning, this film is mostly speculative of the author’s life; hence the romantic interest that developed between Weightman, her French teacher in the movie and Emily herself, how much of it is true, that is questionable. Because according to the sources, Emily was quite of a religious person and did not have much interest in romantic relationships, she lived in her own world of imagination and creativity. But that character Weightman was true and this is also true that he used to flirt a lot. According to the sources, Weightman was in fact more interested in Emily’s younger sister Anne. However, since this is not a biography; hence the director chooses to follow the creative path. 

If you also a fan of period drama, this movie is worth the watch. It is quite a compelling story about a woman who had “Wuthering Heights” of ambition inside her. 

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