Here’s the premise: Bella Baxter (Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation
I really like odd movies and the first part of POOR THINGS was, in fact, very odd. Willem Defoe’s character for instance, had a face that looked like he did his own plastic surgery and the base story itself is a bit quirky. A rather odd scientist sees a pregnant woman throw herself off a bridge, she dies but the baby lives. He then puts the baby’s brain in the woman’s head; this in itself makes an odd choice and a huge leap in the audience to buy this choice, but okay, let’s do that. The woman baby grows and learns as a child but looks like a woman. Though questionable, I really enjoyed this portion of the movie, it was fresh and new, something you cannot say about most Hollywood movies nowadays. I even love the Mark Ruffalo character falling for Bella, although it seems a little weird once he knows she is a mere child mentally. But the second half of the film just fell apart for me.’
The second act, Bella gets obsessed with sex, and not just in a curious way but throws herself at any and all takers, and gets 90 miles an hour into a debauchery that is raw and unapologetic. The second half was more like a soft porn movie, and really did not have much substance. I wished the end was equal to the first part of the film, weird and funny; but all we get he sex, sex, sex, and THIS was meant to be woman empowerment, all it said about women is when sex is involved, they are unfeeling and selfish, and that is so not true.
I would like to recommend the movie, and part of me does because of the oddity of the film, but that fades away and becomes a very different film altogether. Instead I would say, watch it when it is streaming and you can see for yourself without forking out the money.