Leaning more towards horror than comedy, Fresh is a sleek, well-written, and ultimately, fucked up movie. I don’t know how much you know about the plot but let’s just say it’s quite nasty. And don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers here. We will be following Noa, a charismatic young woman who’s tired of dating. However, she soon meets a really cute guy in her local supermarket and things start changing fast. For the first almost forty minutes, Fresh keeps this rom-com atmosphere amplified by authentic and realistic dialogue. But then it shifts gear and turns into something entirely different, still keeping that aloof atmosphere.
So, just be ready for that because this is not your usual Disney movie. There are a couple of graphic scenes but that’s not the thing that I found the most unnerving. You will get to know our characters pretty well in the first part so when shit starts getting real in the second, it’s going to hit home hard. And those scenes were superbly directed, leaving all the angst and the tension in the atmosphere unpolluted by narratives. This is indeed happening.
I mean, let’s not kid ourselves here from the first minute you practically knew how the whole movie is going to play out. In that sense, it is a bit predictable. However, since character development was excellent along with acting and pretty much everything else, we can consider that a minor flaw. After all, this is Mimi Cave’s (director) first and Lauryn Kahn’s (writer) second movie. Additionally, the main plot twist is perfect for discussion and further examination.
Noa is sitting anxiously in her car waiting for her date. She doesn’t like dating and this guy also seems like a douchebag. Encouraged by her bestie Mollie she decides to go for it and ends up disappointed again. At this point in her life, she’s pretty much given up on dating. And exactly then, a handsome young doctor strikes up a conversation with her. Looks like Noa just met the man of her dreams…
Fresh stars Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan, two actors I knew I knew from somewhere. It turned out that Stan was Tommy in Pam & Tommy. And Edgar-Jones played Brenda in the bloody Mormon murder mystery Under the Banner of Heaven. Both these shows are excellent and I do recommend you check them out. However, in my opinion, Jojo T. Gibbs stole the show here as spunky Mollie. I kept hoping that she would team up with her old flame Paul played by Dayo Okeniyi but that didn’t happen.
Not as fucked up as let’s say Martyrs, Fresh is still a pretty fucked up movie. Especially if you’re expecting a “regular movie” because of the production values and popularity. It’s always good to dive a little deeper and explore the world of cinema and everything it has to offer. Who knows maybe this movie will be your gateway into something glorious. I would put it in the same class as Get Out, although this is a more grounded effort. Despite what you might think of the story.
Finally, I just want to add that I really liked how the house looks like. It’s exactly like how I would imagine it to be. Art directors nailed the mood, atmosphere and they don’t get enough credit in these types of productions. So, I had to say something.
Director: Mimi Cave
Writer: Lauryn Kahn
Cast: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jojo T. Gibbs, Andrea Bang, Dayo Okeniyi, Charlotte Le Bon
Fun Facts: First film released under Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to be rated R18+ in Australia.