Directed by Honey Lauren / Reviewed by Adva Reichman
Wives of The Skies follows a journalist who claims to want to document two sweet stewardesses in the hope of getting something more out of it. Set in the romantic 60’s, this film is amusing, surprising and beautifully made.
Derrick, a British Photojournalist, played by the talented Drew Brandon Jones, doesn’t hide his attraction to the women and his determination to find out if they’re actually as sweet as they present themselves or are in fact toying with him. The director explains that “Wives of The Skies makes a contemporary socio-cultural statement regarding the meme of ‘the good girl, drawn bad’. It clarifies the impact of the overarching ‘men’s gaze’ which objectifies women as carnal sex objects men seek, while they look for love.”
And indeed, the director did a fine job demonstrating the man gaze, and Derrick’s undeniable hope to find the “bad” in the women standing before him. However, I do wish we could have seen more of the women’s personality and gotten to know more about them, their interests and knowledge. Making their world broader would have made it clearer that all the journalist sees what he wants to.
The film also brings forward the topic of trust. First, as the women allow the journalist to film their lives and invite him into their hotel room. And second, when we learn the two practice the Japanese art of rope binding, Kinbaku. We first encounter the bondage as the journalist arrives at their hotel room for. And again,at another night as he joins them for dinner where the bondage motif plays out in the food as well. While one of the women is tide up, she relies on the other to take care of her basic needs, just as feeding her and of course eventually untying her. This suggests a high level of trust and a great sense of companionship between the two women. When this trust is broken at the end of the film, the journalist,who by now learned a valuable lesson, takes on this commitment and tries to prove himself worthy of the trust he’s being given.
This again, is a powerful example of how the director’s delicate choices reveal the character’s growth and vulnerability.
Unfortunately, the reasons behind the usage of rope binding were never explained so it felt like a missed opportunity to get to know the women a bit better. Perhaps this was done to show the journalist’s state of mind as he fails in asking the right questions because he’s too caught up in his own lust.
The performances were impressive, and the director did a great job capturing the subtle details that kept the interest and tension going. The flight attendants, played by the gifted Rachel Alig and Maddison Bullock, could have easily gone too far with their seduction routine under the pretense of being plain naïve. But the director, Honey Lauren, and editor, Davey Robertson managed to make us wonder if they just might be genuine after all, and if it was all in the journalist’s mind.
The cinematography, both through the journalist’s lens and the actual caption of events was striking and gave the film a great sense of style and flair.
The wardrobe, production design and hair and make-up all contributed to the authenticity one would expect from a periodic piece. This combined with the great score composed by Josh Vanakin, made the viewing experience delightful.
Wives of The Skies is sweet, surprising, full of humor and will bring a smile to your face.