Seberg is a drama entirely void of understanding what it needed as its purpose, and becomes increasingly unaware of that as it progresses forward

A good way into its final act, Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) states pretty clearly that even she knows she isn’t the victim in this story, despite the government surveillance she has been targeted with for a number of years. Naturally, this form of dialogue opens up the question for those not already thinking it: Why is Seberg even about Jane Seberg? Because this is an indirect feature about The Black Panther Movement, rather than anything more impactful and useful, merely highlighting the hate crimes the US government continued to carry out.

Undercutting itself, the film only reaffirms how standard it really is, offering little in the way of tension, excitement or drama. Its evident that the story holds everything a film of this nature needs to be successful, but screenwriters Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel have focused their energy on making Seberg the lead, with director Benedict Andrews failing to translate the script into anything more than a standard unimaginative drama. With its most exciting moments opening the film, its very much a downhill slope from the beginning.

Seberg 2

Kristen Stewart carries out an excellent dramatic performance, as she often does, but so little of the world created around her adds to that, there’s no soundboard for her to bounce from. Seberg is a drama entirely void of understanding what it needed as its purpose, and becomes increasingly unaware of that as it progresses forward.

In a different light, and a different style of storytelling, Seberg becomes an important story; but in its current form, it’s a feature lacking emphasis on how truly important this story is, both personally to Jean Seberg and to the wider community fighting against racism in the United States.

2/5

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