Love Lies Bleeding Movie Review: Rose Glass' Love Lies Bleeding is a strange concoction of film genres given an '80s pulp treatment. It is a love story with a touch of erotica. It is a crime thriller with glimpses of black comedy. Love Lies Bleeding also takes occasional surreal turns with some queasy scenes. The film begins with a woman cleaning a clogged toilet and ends with a tribute to Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. It is a weird film for sure, and that also makes Love Lies Bleeding a fun watch. Kristen Stewart Reveals She Felt 'Turned On' by Queer Sex Scenes in Her Thriller Love Lies Bleeding.

Set in 1989, we meet Lou (Kristen Stewart), who works at a gym and is a lesbian. She is instantly smitten with Jackie (Katy O'Brian), a drifter who joins her gym and works for her shady father, Lou Sr (Ed Harris), waitressing at his gun range. Jackie reciprocates her feelings, and they embark on a passionate, live-in relationship. Lou gets Jackie, who is obsessed with winning a body-building contest in Las Vegas, hooked to steroids. Lou is also looking out for her sister Beth (Jena Malone), who is regularly abused by her douchebag husband JJ (Dave Franco) and wants to protect her at any cost.

Watch the Trailer of Love Lies Bleeding:

Lou and Jackie's romance hits a roadblock when one of them commits a bloody murder, and the other ends up trying to cover up the same, leading to a twisty roll of events.

The Dark Romance

Love Lies Bleeding is a film that traverses familiar territory, yet what makes it so captivating is its treatment of those familiar themes. Most of the characters are well-rounded, even if we don't delve deeply into their backgrounds. The love-at-first-sight attraction between the two leads is hinted to be fuelled by their inner darkness.

A Still From Love Lies Bleeding

They seem to be trouble for each other - Lou gets Jackie addicted to performance-enhancing drugs, leading to her downfall, while Jackie entangles Lou in a sticky situation. However, the violent repercussions of their relationship do not overshadow the tenderness and sensuality that define their bond, driving the first half of the movie.

Addiction and Surreality

I also appreciated how Love Lies Bleeding employs addiction as a recurring motif, depicted through Lou's incessant listening to tapes and showcased in various forms. While Lou grapples with her nicotine addiction, Jackie succumbs to steroids. It's not merely substance abuse at play here; Daisy's (Anna Baryshnikov) unhealthy obsession with Lou and Beth's acceptance of her husband's abuse as a form of love depict other facets of relationship abuse.

A Still From Love Lies Bleeding

As Love Lies Bleeding transitions into crime-thriller territory, its twists and turns enhance the pacing without detracting from the central love story. The film doesn't shy away from gore, and surreal moments add depth, even if they may initially perplex viewers. Love Lies Bleeding: Detroit Man Arrested for Masturbating in Theatre Screening Kristen Stewart's Film.

A Still From Love Lies Bleeding

Whether it's a woman hallucinating about vomiting another woman or the bizarre 'gigantic' climax following an intense confrontation, the surrealism adds to the film's allure. There is also a layering of black humour to the proceedings. I couldn't help chuckling when Lou fights the temptation of taking cigarettes from a dead body.

The Performances

A major asset of the film lies in the performances of its cast. Lou may not have the muscles of Jackie, but it is established at the onset itself that she is the dominant partner in their relationship, and Kristen Stewart aces that aspect of her role to near perfection. Katy O'Brian, who I remember seeing in my hazy viewing experience of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, is quite the standout here as the insecure woman behind a tough exterior, who becomes increasingly vulnerable while tempted by love and drugs.

A Still From Love Lies Bleeding

Ed Harris is an expert at playing sinister roles, and I am glad he is not tired of doing that. Dave Franco is pretty convincing as the a-hole brother-in-law.

Final Thoughts on Love Lies Bleeding

Love Lies Bleeding inhabits a universe crafted by the Coen Brothers, occasionally veering into Cronenbergian realms. Featuring stellar performances by Kristen Stewart and Katy O'Brian, guided by Rose Glass's confident direction, this film is a potent blend of intensity, sensuality, and violence, rendering it irresistibly captivating.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 04, 2024 01:44 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website