Poor organisation and planning has left Red Joan looking red faced
Red Joan is everything modern cinema didn’t need. A story boasting its equality between genders that still leaves its lead relying and depending on her male counterparts. A setting that flicks between the most drab World War II drama and a modern day section that only enhances the film’s inability to tell its story with any genuine intrigue. And a set of characters so poorly written, their personalities could be pulled apart by a toothpick.
Constantly barraging the audience with its complicated Science and politics, Red Joan leaves no time for the excitement or interest to ramp up, leaving the moments of passion and failure to fall absolutely flat.
Soft and lifeless, the drama of Red Joan constantly feels fabricated, twisting and flicking for seemingly no reason, allowing itself to never rise from first gear. There seems to be an obsession with remaining slow and steady for a wartime loving audience, whilst still avoiding any action or any mystery.
The nature of the plot, and the way it’s told in two timescales, voids any of the questions and suspect behaviour with the outcome being as obvious as it is. Relying on Cookson and Dench to supply its vigour simply doesn’t work, and Red Joan is left clambering for its male characters to supply the impetus and the most important information; something it pretends it has reserved for its women.
Overdrawn, underdeveloped and thoroughly ordinary, Red Joan cannot get past its initial premise and into its character’s heads. There is a story within the core of the film that could have supplied female leads with substance they are so rarely gifted, but poor organisation and planning has left Red Joan looking red faced, and surprisingly out of tune with the modern cinema audience.
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