Viking Reviews: ‘Bones and All’


Sofia Nieto, Editor

Love, hunger, and compulsion – though are all very broad in their meaning, the complexities of each are explored through the newest cannibalistic romance film.

Bones and All explores the lifestyle, desires, and motives of two cannibalistic teens, Lee and Maren – played by Timothee Chamalet and Taylor Russel.

Set in America during the early 1980s, the film begins with shadowing the life of the main character, Maren, displaying her life as seemingly normal.

As a viewer you begin to truly understand this character when one of the opening scenes portrays Maren showing cannibalistic motives at a sleepover with her friends.

Maren’s actions leave her father with no other choice than to move them far away, leaving the past behind them.

The next morning, Maren awoke to her father gone – leaving only her birth certificate and a tape recording of Maren’s past actions and how it has gotten to this point, narrated by her father.

With Maren freshly on her own, she decides to begin the treacherous journey of attempting to find her birth mother in hopes to find answers as to why she is the way she is.

As a viewer, we begin to learn that cannibals have an enhanced and peculiar sense of smell that can pick up on eachother, other “eaters”.

This leads to numerous eaters picking up on Maren’s scent, and consequently introducing us to Maren’s romantic interest, Lee.

We see Maren and Lee’s relationship progress as they travel around the country in hopes to find Maren’s birth mother.

Director Luca Guadagnino composes a movie in which illustrates the beauty of young love yet also the compelling and often difficult lives these two characters lead.

His use of cinematography and storytelling creates a film in which is hard to look away, especially given some of the often gory scenes that are shown throughout the film.

Going into the movie, as a viewer you may be apprehensive about the sensitive topics and portrayal of cannibalism explored throughout the film.

However, Guadagnino creates such a film that uses the addiction and cravings that cannibals experience as a metaphor for young love and the complications that arise with it, and even creates an atmosphere in which you begin to sympathize with these characters, regardless of the inhumane things they’ve done.

Throughout the film we begin to see the “good” in these characters and how their desires and dreams in life are truly no different than anyone else’s – as they meet more eaters along their journey, Lee and Maren become more hesitant to interact with these people and what their own true identities are – portraying scenes with self-reflection and regret for all they have experienced in their lives.

Guadagnino’s use of cinematography captures these characters in a light in a way no one else could capture, and with performances from Timothee Chamalet and Taylor Russell – it sure is hard to get a bad movie out of this cast.

Bones and All came out November 23rd in theaters and is now available to purchase on Prime Video, YouTube TV, and Apple TV.