Tammy Gillis plays Claire, a hedonistic soccer mom who indulges in her fantasy world, breaking away entirely from her family and life of motherhood. As she embarks on a journey through bad decision-making, she comes to a conclusion to the singularity of her life purpose — she needs to win back her son’s affection. Menorca recently premiered at the Whistler Film Fest.
Filmed in Menorca, Spain and Winnipeg, Canada, this is beautifully shot. The cinematography contrasted the unmoving, unchanging quality of landscapes compared to Claire, constantly trying to flee from the sameness of her life. The unmoving men at the bar feel like set pieces in the best way possible, creating a really developed and gritty set for the women to perform in. It also reinforced this wonderful disparity between the lives of these tumultuous women who need more, and the men in their lives who don’t.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed Gillis in this role, I didn’t find much else to love. So frequently, it felt like the writers were choosing blatant symbolism over a more subtle questioning of morals and motherly love. It also occasionally felt like they weren’t sure how to proceed to their next scene, or how to have characters react like humans. Beating someone over the head with a rock you identify with your son is weird enough, then having all the men in the strip club carry the woman who was hit like she’s dead? It was strange.
The movie probably should have ended a few minutes earlier, before all the reverse parallels to really hammer the point home. Claire could have ended with “I like the weight” of the rock, jump into the water in Menorca to find it, and then we end. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt for choosing the more uncertain ending as she sits at the soccer game, her son finding her letter and the family walking off without seeing her… but it didn’t feel heavy-hitting like it was ultimately supposed to.
You can find more information about Menorca here.