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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: Fingernails

Anna and Ryan have found true love, and it's proven by a controversial new technology. There's just one problem, as Anna still isn't sure. Then she takes a position at a love testing institute and meets Amir.

Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed & Jeremy Allen White.

‘Fingernails’ is a cinematic experience that possesses a unique ability to evoke a sense of tranquility and grace. The atmosphere of the film is carefully curated, employing a gentle colour palette and a deliberate absence of music, resulting in a truly relaxing and soothing tone. The choice to forgo a typical musical score allows the audience to immerse themselves in the quiet beauty of the film, creating a space where subtlety and nuance take center stage.

Despite its tranquil setting, 'Fingernails' leaves some viewers yearning for a deeper exploration of existential and psychological themes. The film introduces compelling concepts but refrains from delving into them, resulting in a narrative that, while sweet, feels somewhat hesitant to venture into more thought-provoking territories. The potential for a richer, more introspective journey feels untapped, leaving a sense of longing for a more profound exploration of the human psyche within the story.

The cast's performances, particularly those of Jessie Buckley and Riz Ahmed, are standout features. Buckley radiates her trademark charisma, drawing the audience in with her captivating presence. Ahmed, equally charismatic, delivers yet another compelling performance, showcasing his ability to command attention in any role. However, Jeremy Allen White's portrayal, although solid, seems constrained by the film's failure to dig deeper into its characters, leaving his talent somewhat underutilized.

The screenplay is a mix of eloquent, thought-provoking dialogue and simpler exchanges that maintain a consistent quality throughout the film. One standout line, “Watching a love story feels safe. Being in love doesn’t,” encapsulates the film's thematic essence, resonating with the audience and providing a poignant reflection on the complexities of romantic relationships.

The film's direction is commendable for its simplicity and effectiveness. While not flashy, it complements the story well, punctuated by moments of stunning cinematography that capture the beauty of pivotal scenes. These visual elements add depth and poignancy to the delicate narrative, creating striking visual landscapes that augment the emotional journey of the characters.

‘Fingernails’ is an easy and well-paced watch, ensuring the audience remains engaged throughout. The film maintains a consistent rhythm, allowing the story to unfold naturally. However, the emotional depth that the narrative attempts to achieve falls slightly short. Despite rooting for the two leads and their personal growth, the film leaves viewers wanting a more profound emotional connection with the characters and their journey.

In conclusion, ‘Fingernails’ is a serene and charming film, best suited for those seeking a quiet and unassuming love story. While it excels in creating a peaceful atmosphere and features commendable performances, the narrative falls short in exploring the profound, leaving a faint sense of unfulfilled potential in its wake. Nonetheless, the film's endearing nature and the undeniable charm of its cast make it a pleasant cinematic experience.

4 / 5

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