Review: ‘Greta’ finds replacement daughter

Thriller brings old lessons back to life


Courtesy of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

Oscar winner Neil Jordan’s new movie, “Greta,” which was released Friday, March 1, is about a sweet older woman, Greta (Isabelle Huppert), sharing life adventures with a younger woman named Frances (Chloë Grace Mortez). This movie is rated R for violence and disturbing images.

In the beginning, the movie shows how both women live their lives separately until they meet. Greta is a lonely French piano teacher and Frances is a young college student who lost her mother at a young age. Greta leaves her purse on the subway and Frances, being a good samaritan, returns it. Out of gratitude, Greta offers coffee to Frances causing the women to end up getting to know each other and becoming friends. This movie is showered with ‘stranger danger’ scenarios adults say to children all the time.

If viewers didn’t know any better, they would quickly think Greta has a crush on Frances. However, upon hearing how Frances and Greta speak to each other, viewers notice their bond seems to be turn into something similar of a mother and daughter relationship. They quickly make plans with one another and create a bond of pure friendship. Several aspects of the plot seem questionable and create an unrealistic line.

Frances constantly gives Greta the benefit of the doubt, trying to reassure herself that a “helpless” piano teacher wouldn’t hurt her. The most annoying part for viewers was all the signs of Greta being dangerous and no one doing anything about it. The movie was an attempt to be whimsical but tension between Greta and Frances doesn’t go unnoticed.

Greta is so desperate for Frances’ attention, she always schedules for a get-together and makes it a big deal if Frances cancels. It’s not hard to sense when someone is desperate for attention; Frances fails to see that and that’s when she becomes caught up in the mess of a stalker. She is in denial until Greta starts to be more insistent about meeting up with Frances.

Overall, the film is great. Realistically though, students would’ve turned the bag into the police station and others would have taken the bag home and disregarded it completely. There were other alternatives Frances could’ve taken to give Greta her bag, without having to step into her home. The entire set up of leaving the bag on the subway, Frances finding it and returning it all seemed pretty suspicious.

With an overwhelming plot, Greta shows all the signs of an aggressively emotional woman and Frances fails to realize the danger she put herself in until Greta was out to get her. “Greta” provides audience members a chill down their spines but with not too many jump scares. This movie deserves 8 out of 10 stars. If “Greta” showed more hesitation in giving the purse back and going inside for coffee, then this would’ve received 9.5 stars but because the characters were so naive to the danger, it deserves an 8.