Hatching Review

Every once in a while, we film critics see films where we don’t know what to expect. We might see a trailer or a film title that intrigued us. Hatching is one such film. I heard the buzz about this film out of the Sundance Film Festival this past January and was interested in seeing it. I finally got to see it, and I’m as perplexed as expected.

This depicts what seems like a happy family living in Finland. It focuses on the relationship of a young 12-year-old gymnast (Siiri Solalinna) and her mother (Sophia Heikkila), whom she is desperate to please in any way she can. The family has this specific image of how they need to look. When the young girl discovers a dead bird in the woods, she notices it has an egg with it. She takes the egg and nurtures it until it hatches, hence the title of the film. What happens next is almost too strange to believe.

Director Hanna Bergholm, production designer Piavi Kettunen, costume designer Ulrika Sjolin, and editor Linda Jolidmolm all do a great job. All the technical aspects of the film look great for a little indie film. You can tell these men and women put a lot of thought and execution into every part of this film. Even the animatronics and makeup on the characters are done with precision and professionalism. This is a well-made film.

The acting in the film leaves something to be desired, though. Maybe it’s the translation of the subtitles, but the little girl’s acting seemed a bit wooden, and her family members are just a little bit better than her. From my perspective, the acting is the worst part of the film. The story is interesting, though, so I had to look past the wooden performances because I was fascinated by where this story was going.

The main focus is on maternal instincts by both the mother and the daughter in various aspects of the film. The daughter is struggling with her gymnastics, and her mother is trying to help her in this respect when she’s not worried about her own image on social media. The daughter is trying to nurture this creature she has hatched and doesn’t really understand what she is doing in this regard. Throw in the life she had outside the house, and she struggles with pretty much everything. This is a typical coming-of-age story, albeit with a strange twist.

Hatching is a very beautiful film, and the technical aspects work regarding the context of the film and the world it takes place in. The maternal aspects of the mother and daughter are the heart of what this film is trying to say. Still, the twist the film has doesn’t quite as well as the director and writer, Ilija Rautsi, thinks it should. This film had me interested in it until the end when it fell apart.

2 1/2

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media

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