Oh Lord. I heard Mark Kermode recommend this film on his weekly podcast and thought I’d check it out. It was a tough watch, even when it was relegated to the background after I started to lose interest.
The film is based on a theatre play and it retains an intimate, claustrophic atmosphere, with a small cast acting much of the film inside a single, grubby motel room. Once the scene has been set, only the occasional exterior shot of the motel takes the viewer out of the room and acknowledges the outside world.
I don’t want to ruin it for you so look away now forplot spoilers. In a nutshell, this film wasn’t for me.
Bug depicts the extreme descent into paranoia of the central character, caused by her attachment to a stranger introduced to her by a friend. Her vulnerability and loneliness lead her to be supportive of, and ultimately seduced by, the disturbed man’s delusions, with tragic results for the both of them.
I didn’t enjoy it. I thought Harry Connick Jr was impressive as the abusive ex-husband, and Judd and Shannon were committed to the intensity of their characters, but life’s hard enough as it is without enduring this for entertainment. At least for me. I’m not sure if it was making a sophisticated philosophical point that went over my head; it just seemed to be a theatrical portrayal of some bad things happening to poor people. Visually it was well-shot, given the restrictions of the space, but a film like Requiem for a Dream, which deals with a similar theme, is much richer and rounder on every level. So, for me, this is a film for cinephiles and literary types, and not something the average viewer will really enjoy.