Cade’s Review of “Blow the Man Down”

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Cade Campbell, Writer

“Blow The Man Down” is a 2020 movie starring pretty much only women and doesn’t make it feel forced. It felt natural, which is great. Whenever the cast of a movie is wanted to be the majority something it feels forced. This is a film that successfully shows the intimidating power of women. Women who know how to use that power.

 

The film, which just recently got released on Amazon Prime, has a very cold and thrilling vibe to it that is so entrancing due to it’s very unique approaches to creating such an atmosphere. 

 

The first detail the filmmakers throw in the viewers’ face––better yet ears––that help create the one-of-a-kind aura that this film does is the inclusion of sailor’s songs. The low tone of the sailor’s voice that sings the songs the entire film compliments the mood. 

 

The film setting feels like the perfect place for a Stephen King novel. A small town on the coast of midwinter Maine, where everyone knows everyone’s business. Or so they thought. That’s the first lure into this film. The intriguing setting. A place filled with fish and lobster. 

 

The story told throughout the hour and half the film went on was deeply compelling.

The tension was felt the entire time. The story was never 100 percent set out, it was impossible to tell what was going to happen. Each character seemed impulsive or reckless or in a bind of such strong emotions it was hard to tell what they were going to do. The right thing? The wrong thing? And this only is helped by the melodramatic acting which is the absolute cherry on top of this film.

Without the melodramatic acting, that exaggerated feel to it, this film would not be as good as it is. Even without making the characters particularly deep, the film managed to close all the gaps in why the characters did what they did, even if it’s just a plain answer. What really helps that case is the acting. Just the drama in it, the small town melodrama, makes it seem like it’s the East Coast version of Twins Peaks, without the added weirdness of David Lynch and given a more Fargo-type storyline.

 

The film takes place only over a few days, and already within those few days it’s easy to see that this created town is and always has been run by women mostly. The men characters are boring, one-dimensional. It’s as if the filmmakers wanted the viewers to beg the men to get off the screen. They were just boring, melodrama acting or not. Nonetheless, that proved that women ran that small, fishy town. 

 

The story is unique in itself as well. Two sisters, after the death of their mother, are trying to stay out of the debt their mother left them in. After being taken in by a bunch of elderly Irish Catholic women that knew their mother, they get involved in a crime. A crime that also involves other elderly women who used to work with those Irish Catholic women and their mothers. Enid Devlin, who runs a bed and breakfast that is also a brothel. She prostitutes girls for both the townsmen and the sailors that come into town. 

 

It’s hard to tell who really steals the show. Main sister, Priscilla Connolly (Sophie Lowe)

or Enid Devlin (Margo Martindale). Both Sophie and Margo steal the scenes that they’re in, and 

the scenes that they’re in together were absolutely exciting to watch. Two strong women in the

town, one who knows it, and one who doesn’t. 

This film is clever. That’s exactly what it is. The filmmakers choice of lighting, choice of music, choice of setting. It’s noir. But it’s not just defined to that. It’s a hard, cold story, told in a soft-spoken, but unwelcoming tone. The story is a rough and tumble, and so is the film itself.