Eileen (2023) Movie Is Puzzling & Suspense Filled Thriller

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Eileen is a puzzling and suspense-filled movie. Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie take the lead in this Hollywood psychological thriller, with a few surprising twists and turns.

This film is based on the 2015 novel Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. The said author is a fiction writer from New England in the Northeastern United States. And Eileen is her first novel. This novel was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize. And it won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction.

Synopsis of Eileen (2023) Movie

Set during a bitter 1964 Massachusetts winter, young secretary Eileen (Thomasin McKenzie) becomes enchanted by the glamorous new counsellor Rebecca (Anne Hathaway) at the prison where she works. Their budding friendship takes a twisted turn when Rebecca reveals a dark secret — throwing Eileen onto a sinister path.

Thereby, a woman’s friendship with a new co-worker at the prison facility where she works takes a sinister turn in it.

Rating of Eileen (2023) Movie

FM Rating3.50/5
FM Short CommentThe basic premises, the twists, the turns and the ending of the movie hold lots of surprises. More so for those who have not read the original novel of the same name. The good direction and unique photography take us back to 1960s Massachusetts. We liked the acting of Anne Hathaway (Rebecca) and Thomasin McKenzie (Eileen Dunlop) in it. The entire film is riveting.
About – Eileen (2023) Movie

Spoiler Free Review of Eileen (2023) Movie

The introduction

We were thinking of introducing the film in our own words, however, we came across, the insightful introduction by Thessaloniki International Film Festival in the following words:

The stagnant waters of Eileen’s dull, stifled life as a solitary worker at a juvenile detention centre in 1960s Boston, are unexpectedly disrupted when the institution brings in a new psychologist, the vibrant Rebecca. The fervent enthusiasm that blossoms between the two women almost immediately gives way to a closer relationship, until their fragile connection takes a dramatic turn.

Kindly note that it is not a horror film. Now allow us to share its story in further detail.

The story of the original novel

The summary of the original novel goes like the following:

The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop (Thomasin McKenzie), an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s caretaker in a home whose squalor is the talk of the neighbourhood and a day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. 

In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a buff prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. 

When the bright, beautiful, and cheery Rebecca Saint John (Anne Hathaway) arrives on the scene as the new counsellor at Moorehead, Eileen is enchanted. She proves unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship. 

In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.

To be honest, we did not see the sudden change in Eileen’s (Thomasin McKenzie) character in the film. It was as if someone flipped her switch ‘on‘ and then she found her ‘freedom‘.

We liked the story, direction, photography and acting

There is a bit of Alfred Hitchcock’s imprint on this suspense-filled film. Once again, there are a few layers to its original story. And we liked the parallel tracks where the real and imaginary tales overlap. The director and his cinematographer have used digital cameras (details below) in an interesting way to transport us back to the American city of the 1960s.

Although it resembles the look of film stock, the movie was shot with ARRI ALEXA Mini digital cameras with a special Angénieux 25-250 HR zoom lens. According to cinematographer Ari Wegner, shooting on film was considered but the limited budget didn't allow for it.

But, we wish, the writers and directors could have tightened its script a little further, to make it a much better Hitchcockian movie. That would have made it a top-class thriller.

We have last reviewed the actress Thomasin McKenzie (in the Totally Completely Fine series) and actress Anne Hathaway (in the She Came To Me movie. In this movie, both have given excellent performances. Their mesmerising acting takes this mysterious film to another higher level. We loved their acts in it. It is good for at least a one-time view.

The conclusion

Watch it for the captivating story and the way the director builds up the suspense. And to reiterate that both Anne and Thomasin will steal your hearts with their acts. So, go for it.

Spoilers Alert of Eileen (2023) Movie

The ending of the Eileen film is explained below in brief

What happens in one of the final scenes of the film?

In the tense scene in the basement of the house, both Eileen (Thomasin McKenzie) and Rebecca (Anne Hathaway) confront Rita Polk (Marin Ireland) asking her to confess to her abutment of the crime. The murderous crime led to Lee Polk (Sam Nivola) being punished for the same.

Eileen was pointing a gun at Rita to force her to confess

So, when Eileen threatens to kill Rita, she tearfully admits that her husband sexually abused Lee. And she also confesses that she knew about the abuse. However, she continued to maintain her silence. Because she thought that their married relationship was improving as a result. All of sudden, Eileen suddenly fatally shoots her in the chest. And she offered a simple excuse for the same, “I got upset.”

Later, Eileen dumps Rita’s body after Rebecca stands her up

A few scenes later, Eileen and Rebecca put Rita in Eileen’s car. Both of them decide to meet at Eileen’s house, where they will stage a crime scene to make her father Jim look guilty. Because of Jim’s history with guns. But that was only the plan that we heard about in the film. And, Rebecca never does not visit her place.

At last, Eileen is alone and free

Back at her home, Eileen eagerly waits for Rebecca the entire night. But when the morning comes, she decides to take her chances. So, she drives the car along with Rita deep into the nearby forest area. Then she leaves the car with Rita in it. Thus Eileen abandons her to die a slow and painful death. After walking out of the woods, Eileen reaches the road and takes a ride on a passing truck. Perhaps, the said truck is driving out of town and most likely heading to her childhood dream city New York.

And the explanation for the mysterious ending of the film

Rebecca’s character was a figment of imagination

One of the primary reasons, why Rebecca could not have turned up at Eileen’s home is that she was not a real person. It is more than likely that Eileen subconsciously created Rebecca. We have seen a few more imaginative scenes of hers in this film. Maybe, the typical film-star-like persona of Rebecca assisted Eileen in becoming a more confident and independent-minded person in the end.

Also, it appears that after she had killed Rita, she no longer needed Rebecca (the alter-ego). She has crossed the threshold. In addition, Eileen’s smile at the end.

All of these indicate that Eileen is becoming a more confident young lady. She is all set and ready to charge of her life and pursue her dreams independently.

Author’s version

Even the author Ottessa Moshfegh disclosed this in an interview with the media.

Eileen felt real. Rebecca was somebody else’s character, a character from a movie or a book read long ago. She is an imaginary person in another sense too in that Eileen has imagined her.

Ottessa Moshfegh | The Guardian

Poster of Eileen (2023) Movie

Poster – Eileen (2023) Movie

Key Details of Eileen (2023) Movie

GenreDrama, Mystery, Thriller
Original languageEnglish (USA)
Age-restrictionsR (A/18+)
ReleasedDecemeber 8, 2023 (Cinema – USA)
January 2, 2024 (Streaming)
Duration1 hour 37 minutes
WritersLuke Goebel & Ottessa Moshfegh
DirectorWilliam Oldroyd
CastAnne Hathaway (Rebecca), Thomasin McKenzie (Eileen Dunlop), Shea Whigham (Jim Dunlop), Marin Ireland (Rita Polk), Sam Nivola (Lee Polk), etc.
About – Eileen (2023) Movie

Trailer of Eileen (2023) Movie

Official Trailer – Eileen (2023) Movie – Neon | YouTube.

Featured Image and Poster of Eileen (2023) Movie | Pics. Credit:- NEON.

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