The Nest tries to articulate visually the stark contrast between two worlds and the detrimental effect it has on a family. The film talks about the fragility of bonds in the family and the need to keep nourishing them with care, time and again. The film tries to understand how branches going in different directions are attached, somehow, to the same root. It tells us how things can go haywire to a point of no return if you do not trod cautiously on risky terrain.
But most importantly it talks about the fear of a capricious mind. A capricious mind of a child. Some occurrences put such a dent on the mind of a child that for a lifetime he or she keeps coming up with that trait which people often refer to as a personality flaw. It talks about that suffocated buffer zone, where everything is right on the face of it, but to that child, it all seems forced and coerced. He cannot make the people around him understand why he is choking, wasn’t all this for his own good. Then why is there a lump in his throat and a constantly churning stomach? The child starts doubting his senses which gives him constant signals that something is not right. But till the time the reigns are pulled, it is too late.
The child in this case is the director Sean Durkin who has put his childhood experiences in a vivid manner on the celluloid. The Nest stars the charismatic Jude Law and the subtle yet imbued Carrie Coon.
The Genesis of an Unusual Plot
A dynamic entrepreneur, Rory, wakes up one day and decides that he has to move with his family to London, a city which they had abandoned and come to the States years ago. In 1983, the Thatcher government decided to deregulate the financial market. It resulted in something which we today know as the Big Bang. Rory was one of the trade brokers who wanted to ride the tide. He was well known for doing that in the past. He joined his old trading company which he had left when he moved to the States for hunting more greener avenues.
This constant shift is difficult for the family. It has deleterious effects, especially on the children. This was not just a mere case of the irrational fear of change. The family accepted the change but the challenges it was posing this time due to many other added hurdles, was creating a friable environment.
The teenage daughter of Allison (from her first husband) named Samantha (Oona Roche) becomes a renegade and rebels against every principal the family once stood for. She tries to clog her brain with a deafening sound. She congests her sensibilities so as to stop perceiving anything.
Benjamin, played by Charlie Shotwell, becomes a people pleaser. The scared kid just wants to get rid of all the negativity and bad temper. His heart skips a beat as soon as hears his parents howling at each other.
There is no definite conclusion that The Nest tries to reach (the type which we have been made accustomed to by the pseudo “message-oriented” films). It leaves it to your interpretation and understanding.
Scouring the Surface
In one of the scenes, the film shows a dying horse. It could be very easily taken as a metaphor to the breaking emotional ties and the constantly wrecking marriage. But the director Sean Durkin in his honest innocence told that he never planned it as a metaphor. He just wanted to show the falling house of cards. Allison’s strong emotional attachment to her black stallion was the only thing keeping her calm in a chaotic situation. When the horse dies it breaks the last string holding, that last bridge of hope. But this is the beauty of this film. The mere facts are shown in such an insightful manner that they don’t seem less than a metaphor.
A scene stands out, particularly where Rory and Allison have gone out for a business dinner. Rory as usual boasts about his resorts and investments and how he foresees an opulent future for his family. Allison has just given up at this point. She is done bragging and swanking when she knows that there is not even a single penny left and that the family is in huge debt.
The dialogues and the basic anatomy of the scene are so beautifully depicted through the actors that it feels surreal. You can’t help but appreciate the writing at this point in time. you connect with it instantly and start feeling embarrassed and awkward with Rory.
The haunting surroundings and instances too are the personified fears of a family experiencing wreckage. Though the film is not about the weakening bonds and the emotional calamities. It is about what makes them stick together.
Greed and the lust for more (quite relatable in a world which is slowly embracing a capitalist culture and perspective) also plays a key role in the turn of events.
The Nest is one of the better films you shall see this year. There is no character or event you will root for in the end because the whole film itself will capture your imagination. The emotions feel relatable majorly due to a strong screenplay. Every setting, every moment and every scene captured will give you a lot to chew on. The beauty of such films resides in its capability to evolve into something so miraculously close to life. Every time you view this period of drama you will explore new aspects and draw as many conclusions. It can be mediocre and staple period drama and it also can be a pensive experience. Everything depends upon your will to seek the hidden treasure.
The Nest is available on Video On Demand.
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