There will be spoilers in my following review of “Skin of the Wolf.”
They will be more like ‘subset’ spoilers; I won’t divulge the entire film, however, I may make a couple of time specific comments that will ruin whatever bit of suspense one may be looking forward to as part of the experience. We’ll see. To be on the safe side, watch the film first.
If you’re familiar enough with what it’s about or have seen it already…
It’s not easy to find a good film that addresses the loneliness of an outcast or, better said for this film, loner. We have gems such as “One Hour Photo” but it’s usually standard to feature the quiet sufferer who loses whatever is left of his/her mind to stalk and destroy the focus of envious obsession.
I’ve read criticisms ranging from how little dialogue there was in “Skin..” to the story having been told by a “dull speaker.” I’ve watched hundreds of films and I must say that despite the deep extended periods of silence, it spoke tender volumes throughout, to me.
When you end up as a perpetual loner, silence is indeed the majority “noise” that fills your days. Weeks. Sometimes years. Although there may be bodies around it doesn’t guarantee connections will be made that can count for much in short or long runs.
One eventually gets used to being alone. One has to in order to acquire basic necessities, do what needs to be done and simply live life. Not much can be accomplished wallowing in pity or expending energy to “find friends” after a while. So, many so called loners do manage to get through their days and nights slow and steady. Just as the movie illustrated perfectly.
What doesn’t get through in most of these films are the unfortunate things which can happen when “outsiders” come in.
What else doesn’t make it through is that many of us, despite overall and long running circumstances, still want to try. We may have tried countless times and turned up worn and short, but something keeps warm in a part of the spirit that remains hidden from the rest of life’s reports of failure. The movie showed that also. Very well.
I spotted each time he went a little further when he didn’t have to. I took note of how he wasn’t abrupt or bitter aside from natural habits of a man left on his own to survive in the harsh elements for years. They were hushed moments that could be missed by any number of audience members “wanting more”. To me they were perfect surprises and I felt relief in seeing them woven in, without him purposefully hurting anyone.
Despite the hints and evidence of his being a decent man, there is discomfort and disappointment from the characters who interact with him. Assumptions are made over what lies underneath his rough habits and exterior. And despite the low key moments that one can tell that he goes an extra pace or two, their very pessimistic outlooks from the start is what remains.. no matter what.
As in the movie, the lone wolf can be marked by opinions and fear coming from people who refuse to accept the possibilities of what “could be” and choose to stick with what their imagination insist upon as “probability”. This can and does lead ( once again..like the movie) to desperate measures taken that need not be taken.
The end of the movie was deeply moving; finally saying what I’d been waiting for the movie to say.
It brought us the character expressing what many of us have ended up feeling way too many times. When the worst is expected from people we meet time and time again. People who end up determined to not trust and often times determined to destroy that which they can’t understand. It tugged at my heart as I soaked in the ironic sadness of him being left even more hurt than before the choice was taken to avoid the ongoing hurt of being alone.
It’s not rage that he expresses. It doesn’t involve us watching him spend three quarters of the film stalking or preparing a “special room” to do awful and “special” things.
It’s a deep wounding of the heart that he feels. The type of frustration and hurt that drives even the best men to feel invisible in the least and worthless at best.
It’s a beautifully shot movie about a lone wolf who (for once) isn’t an animal but has to face the insult of man’s primitive fears.
featured photo Kirill Kurashov
By a perpetual loner Herself.