Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
After a storm causes short circuits at her place of work, Ana (Grace Van Patten) wakes up on a mysterious island. She quickly finds herself among an army of girls — Marsha (Mia Goth), Bea (Havana Rose Lui), and Gert (Sono) — who are in a never-ending war. The leader of the pack, Marsha, explains that Ana was sent there because of the sexist experiences and assault she endured. The four women spend their days luring men to the island through false mayday calls to hunt them.
Writer-Director Karen Cinorre has created a feminist Fantasy film with a beautiful setting and compelling visuals. There is an alternate reality feeling to the island. A place where women can seek revenge on those who have wronged them. Cinorre creates conflict on this idyllic island by throwing in the good guys with the bad. When Ana realizes that not all the men are a threat tensions heighten between her and the war-intent Marsha.
Marsha is the standout character and Goth gives a commanding performance. She’s at her best when butting heads with Van Patten over the altering views. Same goes for Van Patten who is great as the level headed Ana. The rest of the ensemble, which includes a minor but memorable role from Juliette Lewis, is strong and play well off each other.
Although the Film drags at times, Cinorre gets her message and questions surrounding empowerment across. Additionally, she’s got a strong creative flair that brings her feminist message to a reimagined war-fantasy.
Mayday screens at Sundance:
Live Premiere: January 31 at 3 PM (EST)
On-Demand (available for 24 hours): February 2 at 10AM (EST)