‘Bones and All’ leaves a haunting taste in the mouths of viewers


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By Nick Glover, Lifestyle Editor

Editor’s Note: This review will contain spoilers, so read with caution or watch the film and come back later.

Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell star in the film “Bones and All,” directed by Luca Guadagnino, the director of films such as “Call Me by Your Name.”

“Bones and All” is a genre-defying thriller romance about two cannibals, Maren, played by Russell, and Lee, played by Chalamet. 

The film starts with a seemingly cute scene in which Maren is invited to a sleepover. While there, her cannibalistic instincts kick in, leading to her biting off the finger of one of the other girls. 

Because of this ordeal, Maren is forced to pack up and move to another new town. The skill and speed with which her father prepares her to leave, leading it to be inferred that Maren has some sort of cannibalistic activity that happens often. 

Soon after, Maren’s father leaves her behind, telling her that she has to learn to fend for herself because he will not always be there to save her.

Following this, Maren embarks on a journey to find her mother where she meets other cannibals Lee and Sully. 

Sully, played by Mark Rylance, is Maren’s cannibal mentor. He teaches her how to get away with these acts, and they form a pseudo-parent-child relationship. This does not last long as Maren quickly gets creeped out by Sully and decides to keep running.

During this run, she meets Lee, and the pair quickly fall in love. 

While the cannibalism and gore may be hard to look past for some viewers, especially due to the stellar sound production leading to each crunch of bone and spurt of blood to sound real, the film does not bat an eye at it. Instead, it seems like Guadagnino looks past it.

Guadagnino sees cannibalism in the film as a hyperbolic depiction of otherness. The people who are cannibals are the typical outcasts. In line with this, the cannibals seem to be highly queer-coded. 

While an attempt to show how typically underrepresented people feel while participating in society is made, this portion of the film does feel a bit hard to swallow. It feels almost as if Guadagnino, who is known for his subpar depiction of queer folk, is equating queerness with something as horrid as cannibalism.

Despite this though, the film is highly enjoyable. 

The romance between Lee and Maren is natural and easy to root for. Opposite from many modern romances, their relationship has visible flaws just like any real relationship does. This helps the viewers better accept this relationship and follow it throughout the film.

The ending of the film is beautiful and tragic. While it is haunting, it feels real and heart-warming. 

The final act, where the title comes from, is something that is unimaginable, and Gaudignino’s choice to have these final seconds occur off-screen adds a layer of unspoken beauty to the film. 

If you can get past the almost excessive gore and the recurrent aspect of cannibalism, this film is a must-watch. It is simply beautiful. Its hyperbolic depiction of outsiders is one that is unforgettable and remains with the viewer long after the movie ends.