16 October 2006 | zetes
Perhaps too ambiguous, but certainly interesting
Safe is perhaps a tad too ambiguous for its own good. The film focuses on a suburban housewife (Julianne Moore) who feels sick for no reason. Her doctor suggests psychological treatment, but she finds more comfort in the idea that her sickness is caused by environmental factors, such as car fumes and the like. Haynes never answers the question of what is really affecting Moore. One moment you're sure it's psychological, then physical symptoms displayed by the woman are undeniable. It's not that I really wanted the questions answered, but the constant toying with the audience does become a strain, especially as the film runs for two hours and not much happens. There's also the possibility that the story isn't meant to represent reality, but instead it might be allegorical. This makes it all the more difficult to unravel. I know I sound sort of negative in this review, but I did like it. I don't think it works completely, but I found it fascinating. One reason it does work at all is that Haynes' major goal seems to want to put us inside Moore's head. It shows us what it would be like to suffer and not know why, and how comfortable it might be to, say, join a cult, which is basically what she does in the end. Not entirely satisfying, but definitely well worth a look.