Emerald Fennell’s ‘Saltburn’ was a film that garnered plenty of attention upon its release. Not all reviews were glowing, but in my case, I loved the film. I do however have a slight predisposition to thoroughly enjoying any film I watch in a cinema so my review may be biased because of this (i will admit). I went into Saltburn with minimal knowledge of the film’s plot; I had of course been preemptively warned of some scenes which seemed to cause quite the stir on social media, but even then I was none the wiser. Minor spoilers ahead. 


Strictly on a narrative basis ,Saltburn, compared to some of my other favourite films, isn’t quite as good. So why did I like it so much? I had thought about this for a while after seeing the film and think I’ve reached a fairly sound conclusion. As the film takes place in 2006 and focuses on a group of young people who have just started university - a looming experience for myself and plenty of other people my age - I think it is easier for me to put myself in the world of the film. I also think that I went into watching the film with an expectation of it based on its trailer. My preconception was that the film was a critique on the upper class. An exploration of the perhaps cultish, dark and exploitative underbelly to British aristocracy. In actuality the film is quite different, which I was pleasantly surprised by. The film, if anything, makes us sympathise with the upper class of whom are being preyed upon by a person of a lower social standing. The majority of my friends and I enjoyed the film - “I like how it left some mystery,” one of my friends entertained after I asked her for her views. 


In my eyes, the film is a satisfying blend of one of my favourite films, Bong Joon Ho’s ‘Parasite’ with ‘Call Me By Your Name’, Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 screen adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel of the same name. It has the grit and thrill and comedy of ‘Parasite’ intertwined with the visual beauty and onscreen lyricism of ‘Call Me By Your Name’. It is equal parts exciting, propelled by its early 2000s soundtrack, and shocking, haunting and intense. 


All in all, Fennell’s ‘Saltburn’ was a masterclass in visual storytelling and symbolism. A thrilling and absurdly fun movie that subverted every expectation I went in with. I definitely would suggest watching this film, especially if you think that nothing can shock you anymore, because trust me, this film will.