Sometimes films are made to be statements of some sort of social injustice or showcases of ill-beings in the world that surrounds us. And that is great. But, sometimes said films ride such a fine edge that the fall off said edge makes the experience completely lackluster and whatever lesson you are supposed to learn becomes inconsequential and you couldn’t care less. Well, I am here to tell you all, Mayday is most definitely not that film. This is a film with a powerful message that should be heeded, but is also exceptional in all of the ways that a film geared strictly towards being of entertainment value only should be. Mayday is a beautifully shot thrillride that showcases some incredible performances that are steered by an incredible original story.
In director Karen Cinorre’s bold new action fantasy film Mayday, Ana (Grace Van Patten) finds herself transported to a dreamlike and dangerous coastline. Once there, she joins a female army engaged in a never-ending war where the women lure men to their deaths with radio signals, like 20th century sirens. Though Ana finds strength in this exhilarating world, she comes to realize she is not the killer they want her to be.
Mayday is obviously a film that thrives in the feminism realm. There is no way around mentioning it based on the subject matter. And of course it will be addressed across all media platforms. It’s an obvious characteristic of the film, but funnily enough, there is a distinct detail that I am unsure as to whether it was intentional or not.
In the beginning of the film, as well as throughout, there is a theme of spelling out the word “mayday” in the phonetic alphabet. And for those who are familiar with said militaristic version of the ABC’s “mike” is the term for the letter M. But, in this film, they changed that to “mary”. A bold move really, and something I highly respect and fully believe was intentional and a great move. Transforming the machismo that is the very male oriented military language to include the bibically incline “first woman” name, is actually pretty damn alpha (which means “A” in the phonetic alphabet, as you will learn in this film). The rest of the film has a very feminist approach, but I felt as this more subtle subject matter was something that might go unrecognized, and I bow to Karen Cinorre for (maybe) realizing such an impactful detail.
While it feels important to note that all of the performances were incredible in this film, it would be absolutely ridiculous to not point out that the film’s lead, Grace Van Patten, is an absolute star in the making. Her credits are stacking up, so it’s becoming more and more obvious that she is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Who knows, 10 years from now, maybe she’ll be the one suing Disney for contract violations? I can definitely see it.
Mayday is one of the most visually stunning & highly original stories to be brought to the screen in recent years. I honestly could not recommend it enough. It is a film that thrives on metaphorical unrealism & a constant flamboyance of style that is so impressive. Mayday is a must see.