The following post (sort of) contains spoilers for the movie Mandy.
As well as being a ferocious fever-dream revenge story, Mandy has the simplicity of a tender love story slowly drawing you in to its dreamlike fairytale mood.
The story tells of star-crossed lovers Red Miller and his beloved Mandy, a princess taken from her knight, by evil forces that live in the hills and lurk in the forest.
Cage reminds us of the talent he possesses, in by far his finest work since his iguana-hallucinating turn in Bad Lieutenant or his Oscar-nominated role in Adaptation.
Birdman and Black Mirror actor Riseborough remains as stalwart as ever, gracing the screen in Mötley Crüe tees, reading fantasy novels in her magical world.
Utopia gets destroyed when a deranged, Manson-esque hippy cult shows up known as the Children of the New Dawn.
They summon up a demonic biker gang called the Black Skulls who have a taste for human flesh and a highly potent form of liquid LSD.
Poor ol Red is propelled into a spiraling nightmarish rampage of vengeance battling all the bad guys. It’s skull-crushing, axe-wielding, chainsaw-dueling, insane pulpy madness – and it’s bloody awesome!
Throughout the movie – yes!
In an interview with Thrillist, Mandy director Panos Cosmatos said that after the most traumatic scene in the film, he “wanted it to be a moment where the horror and the absurdity of the universe slap Cage in the face at exactly the wrong time.”
And that it does.
Roll the “Cheddar Goblin” – a mac-and-cheese-puking green goblin and “It’s Gobblin’ Good.”
Mandy would be nowhere near as powerful without that ominous score throbbing throughout the entire film, somber one minute, striking the next.
It’s one of the final scores written by Icelandic multi-Oscar nominated composer, Jóhann Jóhannsson, whose repertoire includes Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival, — and Darren Aronofsky’s mother!
Sadly Jóhannsson passed away shortly after Mandy premiered at Sundance. The film is dedicated to him.