Review of The Prodigy (2022), from Netflix

The Prodigy is a dark film that, during its two hours of footage, shows us something extraordinary that seems to happen in a small town. Directed by Sebastián Leilo and starring Florence Pugh, the film deals with the controversial issue of miracles, a very interesting subject. These alleged extraordinary facts, which religious traditions usually collect to strengthen the faith of their members when unconditional conviction is not enough, would give rivers of ink to write, and are the central axis of a sick but idealistic plot that is worth visiting.

The Prodigy

The film takes place from the point of view of a British nurse visiting a small town in Ireland with an unconventional mission: to keep an eye on a girl who, according to the testimony of the locals, has survived for months without eating. Both she and a nun will supervise the day to day of the little girl to check if the supposed miracle is real.

Throughout his vigil, he will develop a kind of friendship with the girl, whose faith in God clashes with the most modern ideals of women. However, she will gradually gain her trust, and both will tell the other some experiences that until now they kept private. This, added to the conversations with her parents, will make her figure out what is happening.

Do you believe in miracles?

The Prodigy It is a slow and atmospheric film that does not need bloody or tense scenes to disturb us. Without a doubt, the first half is the most successful, since it brilliantly manages to convey to us the strangeness that the nurse feels when coming into contact with a village as underdeveloped and superstitious as this one. During this first part, such is the conviction of the characters that not even the viewer knows if they are looking at a feature film with a supernatural theme, and in this sense I recommend watching the film without expectations of any kind.

During his second half, The Prodigy resents due to its excessive length, with some long scenes that are capable of causing a yawn and that do not contribute much to the whole. This is the film’s main flaw, along with a hint of a romantic subplot that isn’t developed enough to be credible. It’s a shame that this feature film is so uneven, because it shines brightly in its most inspired moments.

The Prodigy

For example, any scene in which the girl and her nurse exchange opinions or experiences is wonderful, from the awkward exchanges at the beginning to the more intimate conversations that occupy the second and third acts. Florence Pugh She is the best-known actress in the cast and, although she does a great role, we must highlight his co-star Kíla Lord Cassidywho manages to be as intimidating as she is vulnerable in her portrayal of the girl Anna, depending on the moment.

In the end, and this can be a spoilersthat’s what we take with us The Prodigy. When we come to the superb conclusion of this film, we understand all the characters, who are as human as us. We are not facing a vampire in the body of a girl or the fanatical leaders of some inhuman sect, but rather individuals subjected to very difficult circumstances that will make them commit immoral and/or criminal acts.

A topic that I did not expect to see in The Prodigy it is the clash between religion and science, but it is the axis of the whole plot. Apparently this is based on a novel which, in turn, is inspired by different apparently miraculous events that happened in Europe during this time where the social and scientific advances that we know today were far from universal. This real base is what makes our hair stand on end, wondering how many Annas there have been over the centuries.

conclusion

The abysmal difference between its most brilliant sections and the most tedious prevents The Prodigy it is an excellent piece of work, and will cause many to give up before it is finished without our being able to blame them for it. However, it is still worth it for its successful setting, for how well resolved the dilemmas faced by the characters are, and for being a gloomy reminder of the consequences that fanaticism can have on society and people.

Review of The Prodigy (2022), from Netflix – The things that make us happy