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The Hollywood Insider Mayday Review

Photo: ‘Mayday’ 

‘Mayday’ is a modern-day Alice in Wonderland, with a dreamy but also jarring fantasy story. Ana, played by Grace Van Patten, is being bothered by her superiors at work, despite being loved by the rest of the kitchen staff. It leads her to take the proverbial rabbit hole when a voice from the oven calls for her. She follows it and lands in a random sea, an alternate universe where she is washed onto shore and thrown into the adventure of a lifetime. 

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There is a female insurgency run by Mia Goth’s character, Marsha who lives on an island devoid of any men. They’ve been consumed by a war beyond the shores and are known to assault any girl that runs into them. Marsha and her crew act as sirens of sorts, drawing soldiers onto their island whether through their calls or intercepting radio messages. Ana is now their latest sharpshooter, groomed to shoot down any man that steps foot onto this strange society. 

Visual Feats of ‘Mayday’ 

Visually, the movie accomplishes great feats. The landscape and fantastical background match the rich images and steampunk style of production. Every frame is sun-soaked thanks to Karen Cinorre’s bold and confident director and writing. 

The filmmakers and crew also deliver intense choreography that adds a surprise element to the film. There’s an out-of-place but nevertheless exciting dance sequence and an underwater ballet. It’s all shown in a visual orchestration that mimicks big-budget entertainment. 

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In fact, at many points ‘Mayday’ chooses style over the structure despite the opportunity to create something great. The female rage, anger, and bitterness over the many wrongs committed upon them by men could have been channeled into a powerful and touching piece on the privilege of patriarchy. 

‘Mayday’ Misandrist Film Delivers or Falls Short? 

The premise is, as mentioned, bold, but there is a lot of ethical vagueness and a lack of plausible reasoning behind Marsha’s leadership and decisions. It makes the characters fall a tad bit flat and thus takes a bit of the edge and allure of the plot away. 

Marsha especially takes away from the suspense of the movie by constantly foreshadowing the villains and twists, oversimplifying every concept from the beginning in a way that erases the allure of such a complex and dark plot. ‘Mayday’ should carry strong convictions and revolutions, especially for being such a misandrist film, but instead, it finds its target, shoots it in broad daylight, and abandons the tension and dramatic value that it promised. 

Logical Drawbacks of ‘Mayday’ Alternate Universe

The transition from Ana’s real world to the fantastical world is one of the most confusing. There are very obvious references to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ or ‘Alice in the Wonderland’ that are exciting and fun Easter Eggs for fans. But sometimes the movie and director, Karen Cinorre focus too heavily on that, getting lost in the comparisons and throwing logic to the wind. 

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The world-building lacks the logic it needs to stand on its own, even fantasy needs some rules and logic. If you want to connect to the movie, coherently understand the different pieces, then this movie might not be the best for you. ‘Mayday’ is frustrating in this aspect but if you put aside the questions and doubts, it’s an adventurous film with lots of action and drama. 

The Cast and Crew of ‘Mayday’ Are Best Part of the Journey

Ana and the gang are fun, fiery and add to the spice of the film. They are women warriors, fearlessly carrying out missions with Marsha as their leader. The troop has Havana Rose Liu’s Bea and Gert, played by Stephanie Sokolinski. June is played by Juliette Lewis and all characters have dual roles and impressive bouts of dialogue and action. Ana herself slowly learns the art of sharpshooting, revealing her hidden potential, and together they lure men onto the island and then mercilessly annihilate them. 

A Hint of Feminism Finds Itself in the ‘Mayday’ Chaos 

The film seems to carry a hint of feminism, definitely more on the nose than other empowering films about toxic masculinity and a woman’s place in society. If you want something complex and raw, a multi-layered analysis on the feminist movement watch ‘Promising Young Woman.’ If you want a watch like ‘Wonder Woman’ with female empowerment and a healthy dose of action, then ‘Mayday’ is for you. 

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There isn’t much context as to why the women of ‘Mayday’ are upset by the patriarchy. There is a general notion that they’ve been wronged by the men in the film but perhaps the lack of complexity adds to the easy and casual tone of Cinorre’s creation. 

Skip or Stream ‘Mayday’? 

‘Mayday’ may not be perfect but it is definitely an hour and 40 minutes of adventure, fun, and lots of female energy and power. It’s not the most sophisticated but with high ambitions and important themes, it is a film worth watching. Maybe someday you’ll be sucked into your own virtual reality and you can live out your Wonder Woman dreams, just as Ana does. 

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Maybe it is a commentary on the boring and draining aspect of a 9-5 day and life or maybe it is simply a drama to pump you with adrenaline, either way, watch ‘Mayday’ on any streaming service varying from Hulu, Prime Video, or Apple TV

Cinematography: Sam Levy | Editors: Nicholas Ramirez | Producers: Jure Busic, Karen Cinorre, Jonah Disend, Lucas Joaquin, Sam Levy, Gabriella Ludlow, Amanda Messenger | Directors: Karen Cinorre | Writers: Karen Cinorre | Cast: Grace Van Patten, Mia Goth, Havana Rose Liu, Soko, Theodore Pellerin, Juliette Lewis, Frano Maskovic, Zlatko Buric

By Mireille Karadanaian

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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