Pieces Of A Woman Review: Vanessa Kirby's Portrayal Of Martha Weiss Will Shatter You

Vanessa Kirby and Shia LeBeouf are extremely convincing as the distraught angry parents in Pieces Of Woman. Read the review here!

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Pieces Of A Woman Review: Vanessa Kirby's Portrayal Of Martha Weiss Will Shatter You

After seeing this sobering film I was discussing it with my friend Sanjay Leela Bhansali. On hearing me out he said, “Why do you watch such depressing films at a time like this when we need hope sunshine and laughter?  Watch  happy films, not these misery  tales.”

I admit I  was depressed for days after seeing Pieces Of A Woman. It is not an easy watch. But then who said life is easy? The film opens with a heavily pregnant Martha giving an entirely new definition to home delivery by having her baby at home with a  midwife to guide Martha and her husband Sean through the process.

I wasn’t aware that babies are still, born at home. The director takes us through the entire procedure in harrowing detail. As I said, this is not for those who think entertainment in cinema is for laughs. Soon after birth, the baby stops breathing. I admit for a second, so did I. Hungarian director  Kornél Mundruczó (whose earlier works Tender Son and White God didn’t impress me much) doesn’t let us off the for even a second, as we are immersed headlong into  Martha and Sean’s catastrophic tryst with parenthood. The marriage falls apart piece by piece. Though poor Sean tries his best to revive the marriage vows.

Nothing works. Not sex for sure. There is a long and squirmy sequence where Sean tries to force himself on Martha. Strangely  Kirby remains clothed throughout while LeBeouf never shy of being seen in the buff, goes full frontal for the camera. In a  later highly unconvincing sequence when Sean has sex with his wife’s lawyer in the case against the midwife (Molly Parker) there too we see only LeBeouf naked.

Such stabs at lopsided neo-realism are distracting and eventually reduce the film’s emotional impact considerably. I wanted this to be a film about a couple grieving for their lost baby. Not about e midwife crisis, the court case, the horny lawyer and the grieving heroine’s bossy rich mom (the very fine veteran actress Ellen Burstyn struggling to supplant conviction into her unidimensional part).

The family scenes strike a bogus note. But Kirby, who was also seen as the rebellious Princess Margret in Netflix's The Crown, and LaBeouf are so convincing as the angry bereaved parents that I forgave the film for its weird distractions. Pieces Of  A Woman (available on Netflix) pulls you into the couple’s grief but not deep enough.

Directed by  Kornél Mundruczó, Pieces Of A Woman gets 3 stars. 

Image source: Instagram/vanessa__kirby,youtube/Netflix
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