'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' Review
Doesn't disappoint but also makes you wonder why you went to see it.
When I went to go see this movie I hadn’t seen any trailers or read anything about the plot, for I simply wanted the whole thing to be a surprise. And oh my, it was. I’d been feeling the need to watch something that’ll make me question my life's choices, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle did just that; the choices in the end being why I thought to watch the movie.
The movie focuses on two sisters, whose parents were supposedly murdered by the oldest, living all alone in this big house. Taissa Farmiga plays the youngest, Mary Katherine Blackwood, and Alexandra Daddario plays the oldest, Constance Blackwood. Most would know Farmiga from American Horror Story, and despite the fact that her character may annoy or freak you out it was nice to see a familiar face.
When I say annoy I don’t mean to be too rude to her character, for throughout the movie her goal is to do everything she can to keep her sister safe. However, my main concern is her tactics since she would perform all these “spells” and bury valuable object all around their huge home in order to protect. Clearly she had some issues, and she seemed to be quite spoiled from her sister and rich dead parents. I mean, no sane child would go around wasting their family valuables; it didn’t look like any of them would ever be able to hold down a job, so I just don’t get why they were so careless with their money.
Well, it is most likely because they were all a little crazy. Constance is like a brainwashed housewife always doing chores and trying to be happy; she also never leaves the house due to the fact that the town hates her and her family for their deadly history and their father's treatment of them. Throughout the whole movie you simply want to scream at her and tell her to just run away or get her act together, but then you are reminded that she has mentally bound herself there. Also, her sister makes sure to throw tiny fits to ensure that she is forever bound to the house.
Also, the fact that the two girls had their uncle, who had been poisoned by Constance and lived, around didn’t make their situation any better. He couldn’t walk and was mentally going downhill, for he was attempting to write a book about him and his family being poisoned and would continuously ask Constance about how to start off certain chapters. Constance, being her doll-like self, would just go along with it. Personally if I was writing a book about how I was poisoned I wouldn’t be asking the accused how I should do it.
The biggest plot driver would end up being their cousin Charles Blackwood, played by Sebastian Stan, who would come stay with them. Now, if I am to be honest my main motivation to see this movie was Stan. However his character's relationship with Constance ended up being a little too Flowers in the Attic for me; I simply had no idea that his whole plan would be to seduce his cousin and take her family's money. When you begin to see this unfold you become thankful for Farmiga’s character, for she throws many tantrums to try to prevent this. Ultimately this ends up creating quite a bit of chaos, but in a way it was necessary.
You are able to enjoy the movie through its great acting alone and if the 60s is your aesthetic then it's even better. The plot itself was for the most part decent; I suppose it is nice to watch a movie every once in a while with clearly messed up characters that don’t take too much thought.
I have yet to read the book, but I plan to do so soon, for the movie might have been better understood if one already knows the fine details. It is filmed in a way that allows you to get an idea of past events mentioned throughout, but not enough to where you clearly understand why people hate the Blackwoods or even why the sister's parents were poisoned. Though, if you are a fan of any of the actors or simply love period pieces then I highly recommend it; it is no love story, but at least it is pretty to look at.