Saltburn knows it looks good. It’s just a shame it doesn’t know which story to tell: coming of age, satire of the upper classes, or slasher horror.

Saltburn tells the story of Oliver Quick who is taken under the wing of the rich bright thing Felix Catton and invited back to the latter’s family seat of Saltburn for the summer where the drama does begin.

The cinematography and lighting really do make Saltburn a visual feast for the eyes. The casting is great and Rosamund Pike as the matriarch is inspired. She plays her role with gusto. The first ten minute montage is brilliant and arguably some of the best dialogue of the entire film.

The issue Saltburn has is that the script falls apart after the big twist is revealed and descends into some trippy, chaotic mess. The more interesting path would have been to explore male vulnerability and loss of friendship at university. Sadly, it forgets the satire (which was good) and descends into chaos. The other curious thing about this film is the use of Black characters. They were always put in a position of either servitude (the nameless footmen) or Farleigh asking Lord Catton for money to save his mother from ruin.

Ultimately, Saltburn tries to be too clever and manically crams in all the dramatic devices it can to keep the audience engaged.  All the characters are very thinly drawn. If more time had been spent developing those it would have felt less superficial.

Saltburn is released in UK cinemas on 17 November 2023.

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1 Comment

  1. Daniel
    21/01/2024 / 6:41 am

    I couldn’t agree more. A revealing ending that took way too long to get to that AH! Moment that do not support the plot developemen as well as the characters.