Bitch Movie Review
Written by Ali Chappell
Released by MPI Media
Written and Directed by Marianna Palka
2017, 93 mins, Not Rated
Played at Fantasia International Film Festival on July 18th, 2017
Marianna Palka as Jill
Jason Ritter as Bill
Kaime King as Beth
Have you been watching Glow? Well, the Viking in Glow, Marianna Palka, is freaking amazing and I don’t know how I didn’t discover her before all of this. She is an amazing writer, actress and director, and she takes on her most challenging role emotionally as Jill in Bitch. While this film isn’t exactly horror, it definitely has horror elements.
Bitch is a genre film about a mother and wife, Jill, who tries to kill herself to escape her isolation and miserable family life. However, after her botched suicide attempt, she takes on the personality of a dog. Strips naked, moves into the basement where she lives in her own feces and just barks and growls all day and night. Bill, her husband, is forced into being a parent and taking charge of the situation, and not just to deal with keeping his life and the lives of their four children. Jill’s sister Beth is also dragged into this mess to help out the family.
I adore this film. Going into it I thought it was going to be campy and kind of dumb but funny. Jason Ritter is always a charming son of a gun and I love Jaime King and Marianna Palka, so I was going to like it at least a little bit. However, I did not think that it would affect me the way that it did. On the surface level, it’s a mental breakdown and family trying to keep their head above water. On a deeper and more intimate level, it is the story of living with someone who is neglectful and living with someone who suffers from a mental illness such as depression and anxiety.
Bitch hits close to home for me, and I swear I was in tears for so much of this movie. Looking at it from the point of view of someone who has depression and anxiety, it can be a rather tough film to watch. While most of us won’t resort of turning into a canine, we do understand how one can finally breakdown and not be able to support yourself anymore and having your partner lash out at you for it, even though they might be part of the cause. Palka is breathtaking in this movie, whether she is gritty and tough and barking at the walls completely naked and animalistic or in the final scene where she is a perfect ray of sunlight after a storm. She is stunning. Watching the life drift in and out of her eyes and seeing her disconnect from reality into a downward spiral is brutally honest.
Bitch is one that everyone should take the time to see and let it sink in. It’s a lot harder hitting than you would expect.