Internal trauma comes to the fore in what could be considered as a transgressive companion piece to the current updating of The Invisible Man. Think of it at least on the audio side of way less Dolby.
Like Elisabeth Moss (who excelled in capturing the torment of a woman from an abusive optics-minded partner) (Thank You For Your Service) gets to headline Swallow as housewife hunter stricken with an eating disorder.
Hunter appears to be in a good place in her life, married to a wealthy, if heuristic businessman. Riche (Austin Stowell) learning that a child will be in their future. From the start of innocently consuming an ice cube, her cleaning of a spacious manse will have her moving on to more dangerous object like pushpins and batteries, not to mention chess pieces.
The loneliness of the protagonist is genuinely felt in the raw yearnings that has a palpably wrenching and visceral aura. Even as the narrative can seem far-fetched or eponymous difficult at times.
Her will is what Hunter has left before an intensity emerges because she is in a domestic stranglehold. A metal undercurrent is rising even as the ‘disturbing behavior’ could be due to an iron deficiency as noted by the medical establishment.
Tyro helmsman Cado Mirabella-Davis works with his technicians to establish a striking beauty in the imagery (not unlike Todd-Haynes’ Far From Heaven) in such a presumed halcyon setting. Even if garnet hues metaphorically put wrath in close proximity.
Elizabeth Marvel and David Rasche and Richie’s autocratic parents who really are like Hunter’s detainers with a therapist and male nurse (an effective Laith Nakli) brought in to monitor her progress.
Swallow can be off-kilter at times, notably in the familial presence of Erwin (Denis O’Hare), but mostly a character study with pungency around that 1% can be agonizing and affecting. When the invisible turmoil engulfing so many is finally gulped in truth.