Director: Zak Hilditch
1922 is a new film on Netflix, and the story is based in Stephen King’s novella ‘1922’ published in his collection Full Dark, No Stars from 2010.
Since it was a Halloween night, it seemed suitable to watch something psychotic and hence this choice. It was not a bad choice because the film is well made and interesting. In addition, in an era when people think they can go back in time and delete all achievements of human rights and women’s rights movements this film is a good reminder that things do not always work out as we would like. Or, they may on the surface but what lies underneath can be even more serious.
In this film Wilfred James (Thomas Jane) is telling us how things were in 1922 in Nebraska. In a nutshell, man’s wife was man’s business and if she disappeared that was the end of it. Therefore, when Arlette James (Molly Parker) disappeared sheriff and her solicitor were suspicious but in Nebraska from 1922 nobody dared to ask a man too many questions about his private life. As he is telling us the story of his life in the present, he does emphasize that this is how things were in 1922. Not that they are or should be today.
Thus, the murder of Arlette remained undiscovered and Wilfred was not persecuted but what lies underneath is own conscience and an attempt to deal with what one has done. As we see through the film, a whole life of Wilfred and his son Henry (Dylan Schmid) who assisted in the murder fall apart, and in the end of the film we learn that Wilfred now understands that there is always a second way. I am not sure if director wanted us to feel moved by his confession and miserable life that unfolded after he murdered his wife, or we were truly supposed to receive a message that doing wrong is just that. Wrong.
Indeed, there is. No matter what one wants to do, there is always another way rather than the murder for people should stop playing God and deciding when one should die. What is particularly striking in this film is the portrayal of women and their rights, as well as reluctance of Wilfred to accept that his wife has the right to take the land she inherited from her father and move to the city and leave him due to his reluctance to go (since cities are for fools as he was teaching us in the film). Little did he know in 1922 that this destiny is what lies ahead of him anyway…
It was a sad life for women at the time and everything the feminist movement managed to achieve is fascinating. However, it is much less fascinating that some women disregard feminist movement and still even think of voting for those political options that are trying to turn the clock backwards and return us all to the era of chauvinism when man’s wife was man’s business only. You know what I mean here.
However, to go back to the film, I need to emphasize one more thing. What I also liked is that it portrayed everyday life and everyday thoughts and inner struggles really well. It is no secret I am a fan of sci-fi and everyday life themes, and this film ticked an everyday life portrayal box really well.
Thank you for reading.