Review of Mimi Cave’s Fresh
When Fresh was over, and the credits started to roll in I had one thought: This is going to be a difficult review to write. This is not because I didn’t enjoy the movie, or because I had nothing to say about it, in fact, I had this thought come to me because the movie made me feel a whole bunch of things and I didn’t know how to capture my experience. Here’s my best attempt.
Fresh, directed by Mimi Cave and written by Lauryn Kahn, is the story of Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a woman tired by the insufferable experience of dating and dating apps. After one too many failed attempts Noa is encouraged by her friend Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) to just be herself and stop looking so hard for someone else; shortly after that Noa meets Steve (Sebastian Stan), a charismatic guy who she starts dating, only to discover he has a really peculiar appetite.
I found it amazing just how good the title of this movie is, not only because it captures the themes of the movie, but because it actually feels fresh. The movie never feels cliche or predictable, even when it explores well-trod grounds it does it in new ways. In my viewing, there was more than one moment where the story went in a direction I wasn’t expecting without losing the sense of the story. This is especially true after the 30-minute mark when the movie really stops holding its punches.
One thing that makes Fresh feels unique is its style and aesthetic, with some really interesting camera movements, strong use of colors, and some amazing lighting. That being said, probably my favorite stylistic choice of the movie is the way it shoots food. Every time there is food in the scene it stands out, which makes sense when taking into account the narrative. Food is a central part of Fresh and it won’t let you forget it, making some of its more gory moments even more impactful.
The acting is also another highlight. Daisy Edgar-Jones makes for a great protagonist, always keeping you engaged with Noa’s story, Sebastian Stan does a wonderful job as the charismatic psycho, and the dynamic between the two of them really feels like the backbone of this movie. In addition, even though I can’t say much of her character due to spoilers, Andrea Bang’s performance is a stand out of the film, making what could be an unnecessary side character into one of the most memorable characters of the film.
Unfortunately, the movie does feel a bit long, especially at the beginning and at the end. While all the build of the beginning helps to set up the themes of the movie and the twist that gives the story some of its strength, it does feel like it drags and could have been a bit shorter. The same happens at the end. It’s not that I wanted the movie to end, but there were moments close to the end that I thought could have made for a better ending but the movie continued going. That being said, the ending is good enough.
Overall, I recommend Fresh to any fans of gore and social horror. It is a delicious, shocking, and gruesome film that will feel like a nice steak dinner with a spiced touch and a good wine.