Above average tale of reinvention and revenge.
by Nav Qateel
Julia is invited to spend the evening with a man she met while training at med school. After drinking champagne laced with a paralyzing drug, an inert Julia finds herself being raped by the man and his three friends. Left for dead near water in the hope her body will wash away, Julia awakens and stumbles home. Julia is then approached by another woman who claims that she can put Julia in touch with someone who can help. She then begins her extreme therapy with the help of a mysterious, quiet-spoken man. But it also unleashes Julia’s dark side.
By first-time writer-director Matthew A. Brown, Julia is a stylish but brutal rape-revenge tale. I may be in the minority but I found the film to be rather entertaining. Thankfully, the rape was never really shown in any detail and this was a bit of a relief. However, the audience will find it harder to empathise with the main character when the castrations begin. I found myself squirming during the first, and by far most graphic castration.
Before the rape we see Julia wrapped up in heavy clothing, wearing huge glasses to hide her good looks. After the rape, as part of her therapy, Julia is made to wear makeup and to ditch the glasses. Her transformation is aided by the highly-sexual Sadie (Tahyna Tozzi), one of the women who now works for the mysterious therapist. But we’re also given quick snatches of the therapist hacking away at another woman. The plot thickens!
During Julia’s sessions she’s warned on several occasions that she must never take matters into her own hands, so you just know she will, right? He wants to be in control of every part of the revenge process as he claims it’s all for her own good.
Julia was performed by Ashley C. Williams, who most will know from The Human Centipede (a film I have no intention of ever watching). Williams’ put on a decent turn as Julia, as she transformed from a shy, quite girl into a sexy, unfeeling killer. Sadie was played by Tahyna Tozzi, who also handled her character easily.
The cinematography was pretty good, as was the tale itself. And while not everything made perfect sense, it never went that far that we couldn’t shrug it off. The music matched the cyberpunk-noir flavor of the film, and the Chinatown setting was a nice touch.
I liked almost everything about Williams’ Julia, except when we would occasionally slip into the usual tropes of the rape-revenge movie. The obvious example would be the four rapists. Two of them are props, one is reluctant and the ringleader who forces the reluctant one to have sex. But that’s my only complaint.
As long as you have a strong stomach, Julia is well worth seeing.