REVIEW: It’s a tough, brutal world in ‘The Devil All the Time’

The film is based on the novel by Donald Ray Pollock. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 24 September 2020

REVIEW: It’s a tough, brutal world in ‘The Devil All the Time’

  • Tom Holland leads an all-star cast in Netflix’s gritty post-war thriller

LONDON: The star-studded cast of “The Devil All the Time” promises big things. Tom Holland and Sebastian Stan (both mainstays of the Marvel cinematic universe), Bill Skarsgård (fresh from traumatizing a new generation in the “It” movie remakes), Jason Clarke (“First Man” and “Pet Sematary”) and new Batman Robert Pattinson all signed on for this Netflix thriller, directed and co-written by Antonio Campos, one of the filmmakers involved in the recent COVID-era anthology “Homemade.”




“The Devil All the Time” follows a disparate group of characters in post-war Ohio and West Virginia. (Supplied)

Based on the novel by Donald Ray Pollock, who takes a turn as the movie’s narrator, “The Devil All the Time” follows a disparate group of characters in post-war Ohio and West Virginia. Returning soldier Willard Russell (Skarsgård ) believes he’s left the war behind him when he meets waitress Charlotte (Haley Bennett). The two have a son, Arvin. But despite these positive overtones, Campos’ world is one of ever-present menace, with corrupt officials, twisted lovers and charlatan preachers behind seemingly every corner, waiting to sully any glimmer of optimism with depravity.

Adult Arvin (played with surprising grit and gravitas by Holland, better known for his bright-and-breezy Spider-Man) struggles to cope with the brutality of the world as it batters him at every turn. When vile preacher Preston Teagardin (Pattinson) rolls into town, his sinister intentions are telegraphed from the get go and, unsurprisingly, his predatory nature kickstarts a chain of events that lifts the lid on the darkest possible side of 1960s USA.

Holland is a joy to watch, his dramatic heft belying his young age. Pattinson is, quite simply, horrifically intoxicating, throwing himself into the role with all the sneering vileness he can muster. The two Brits steal the lion’s share of the limelight, but Campos’ film benefits from the high-caliber ensemble. Simply by pointing a camera at them, the director is onto a winner.

The movie doesn’t shy away from violence, and some scenes are a little tough to take. And it’s an unrelenting second half as Holland’s world comes tumbling down in relatively short order. “The Devil Al the Time” is a brutal, visceral experience. But great performances from a stellar cast make it an engaging one.


Meet the hijabi fashion blogger redefining modest style

Updated 19 October 2020

Meet the hijabi fashion blogger redefining modest style

DUBAI: With their chic, modest style and unprecedented flair for makeup, a new crop of Instagram stars are irrevocably redefining the hijab. Rana Ellithy, who recently popped up on our radar, is certainly one to watch. 

The 21-year-old became an Instagram sensation in less than a year, garnering almost 100,000 followers in mere months after uploading a styling video on Instagram in April. “I was really not expecting that video to blow up like that,” she shared with Arab News. “I did it just for fun, but I got some really positive feedback,” she added, stating that some young women even messaged her to tell her they felt inspired to wear the hijab because of her video.

View this post on Instagram

Do I look tall?

A post shared by Rana Ellithy (@r_ellithy) on

Ellithy was born in Egypt and brought up in the UK. The business consultant, who graduated last year, now splits her time between London and Cairo. It was in the former where the stylist and influencer decided to take blogging more seriously. “I was bored during quarantine in London,” she explained. “So, I started taking more pictures and videos and uploading them on Instagram.”

The stylist believes the reason that her videos and photographs were able to resonate with so many people so quickly is because of her ability to effortlessly take readily-available pieces and basics from Zara and H&M and create chic outfits that her Gen Z followers can easily reinterpret.

View this post on Instagram

Rare pic without my sunglasses

A post shared by Rana Ellithy (@r_ellithy) on

“I always felt like there was a gap of modest bloggers around my age,” Ellithy shared. “Their fashion taste is very good, but it’s not personally what I would wear. I try to stick to everyday basics because that’s what girls my age like,” she said, adding that some of her go-to brands are Egyptian labels Emma, a headscarf brand, and Zoella. 

View this post on Instagram

Bright Bright

A post shared by Rana Ellithy (@r_ellithy) on

Fortunately, Ellithy’s foray into the world of social media has been smooth, with her only obstacle being balancing her full-time corporate job with blogging. “It’s really hard to balance the two,” she admits. “There’s a lot of expectation on me to post consistently, so I try to film as much content as I can on the weekends,” she said.

However, she revealed that she will eventually pursue her love for fashion full-time and even has plans to roll-out her very own online concept that focuses on everyday basics for modest dressers.