Watch The Nightingale
- 2 hr 16 min
Set in the isolated wilderness of Tasmania in 1825, "The Nightingale" is a powerful and brutal tale of revenge, survival, and redemption. Directed by Jennifer Kent, the film follows the story of Clare, a young Irish convict woman, played by Aisling Franciosi, who has been serving her sentence as a servant of a British army captain, Hawkins, played by Sam Claflin. Hawkins has been mistreating Clare and her husband, Aidan, and after a heinous act of violence, Clare is left alone in the brutal wilderness with nothing but her anger to sustain her.
Driven by her desire for vengeance, she sets out on a dangerous mission to track down Hawkins and his men, who have fled deeper into the bush. Along the way, she encounters an Indigenous tracker named Billy, played by Baykali Ganambarr, who becomes her unexpected guide and ally. Despite the deep cultural and language barriers that separate them, Clare and Billy share a common goal of survival and revenge.
As they journey deeper into the unforgiving Tasmanian wilderness, they face harrowing challenges and unexpected dangers. The landscape is beautiful, but inhospitable, with harsh weather conditions, treacherous terrain, and hostile wildlife. The forests are also inhabited by indigenous groups that have been displaced and mistreated by colonial powers, adding another layer of complexity to the story.
This is not a film for the faint-hearted, as it is unflinchingly violent and bleak in its portrayal of colonial atrocities and systemic oppression against women and minorities. The themes of sexual violence, racism, and genocide are handled with sensitivity and honesty, but they are still difficult to watch at times.
One of the most impressive aspects of "The Nightingale" is its acting. Aisling Franciosi delivers a haunting, raw performance as Clare, capturing the character's vulnerability, rage, and resilience with great sensitivity. Maya Christie, who plays Clare's mixed-race daughter, adds a much-needed glimmer of hope and tenderness to the story. Baykali Ganambarr, a newcomer to the screen, is a revelation as Billy, conveying a wide range of emotions with his expressive face and understated delivery.
The cinematography and sound design are also outstanding, capturing the beauty and brutality of the Tasmanian wilderness with breathtaking precision. The score is hauntingly beautiful, blending traditional Gaelic and Indigenous music to create a unique and powerful sound.
Overall, "The Nightingale" is a challenging and provocative film that raises important questions about the legacy of colonialism and the ethics of revenge. It is not an easy watch, but it is undeniably powerful and unforgettable. Jennifer Kent has proven herself to be a bold and visionary filmmaker, unafraid to tackle complex and controversial subjects with style and substance.
The Nightingale is a 2019 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 16 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 77.