Coming of Age Film
Andrea Arnold’s films largely focus on the female experience, predominantly that of young women transitioning into adulthood. … It is here then, that Arnold’s depiction of female desire and agency warrants praise. Star acts on her own wants and needs, and seeing Jake, acknowledges her longing. She consciously rejects the current trajectory of her life, and intentionally and purposefully seeks a new one.
It’s when the older girls on the dance team begin to have “fits” or what’s referred to as hysteria, that Toni begins to question just how much she wants to fit in. It’s fear mixed with curiosity that drives her. It’s an exploration of a part of the human psyche, told less with words and more with images, a coming-of-age story about friendship, belonging and identity, but with an eerie, occasionally unnerving tone.
The story of Eve also elevates the image of Black women as the foundation of families. This element becomes most important as the film progresses.
And yet, the way that Simone slides through a single night in a foreign country (whether metaphorical or literal) is not only reflective of the millennial experience, but also of a larger, more human experience.
This visual powerhouse contains many explicit scenes depicting bodily functions and some of the more interesting aspects of human sexuality. But don’t be fooled, ‘Wetlands’ excels at using shocking imagery to break down walls and build our connection to the characters. The result is distinctly warm and expressive take on the female coming-of-age story.
Summer has always been a magical time where childhood lingers, and every time I get on a swingset again, or have a hankering for a push pop, or throw on my ‘Now and Then’ soundtrack, I think of my childhood and feel invigorated with that rush of youth. I think of Taylor and Sara, and a time when we were so eager to make our own adventures. I also think of those four girls from the Gaslight Addition; somehow they affected my life by making me appreciate what it means to be and have a true friend in this wild world.