CHENNAI: As you practice social distancing, you may find yourself scouring Netflix for content to watch and although this was released in February, Alison Brie’s performance makes “Horse Girl” worth the watch.
It is rather confusing though — one could stand in front of an abstract painting for hours and could still be uncertain about what it is all about. I got the same feeling after watching Jeff Baena’s latest outing, “Horse Girl.: What was Baena trying to tell us in this movie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is now on Netflix?
The story, penned by Baena and the movie’s lead star, Alison Brie, begins in a very ordinary sort of way. Brie’s Sarah is an affable girl, a little shy and works in an arts and craft store. When she is done for the day, she watches her favorite horse, Willow, as people take riding lessons on it. When she returns home, she watches a sci-fi show called “Purgatory.”
And then Darren (John Reynolds) comes into Sarah’s life and the union is great. But things begin to get strange. Sarah sleepwalks and, in the middle of the night, stands facing a wall and scratching it. She takes her car out of her garage and leaves it on the road in the dead of night and cannot seem to remember any of these incidents.
But things turn even more bizarre when she has strange dreams and convinces herself that she is a clone of her dead grandmother.
The plot soon turns dark and what begins as a bit of a comedy turns into a study of a girl about to tip, about to go completely insane as her grip on reality slips into hallucination. Baena — who based her story partly on her own family’s history of paranoid schizophrenia and depression — said “how terrifying it is to not be able to trust your own mind” in a recent interview.
As much as the film disappoints with its bizarreness, Brie’s performance is super. She is happy, funny and seductive, but also depressive, illogical, sad and strange. She adds thrill to the script, but that is not enough to keep a viewer going — especially considering the eyebrow-raising climax.