Shadow
Foe
Despite solid performances by Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal, the science fiction elements of this relationship drama feel tacked on and unnecessary.

Foe

Release Date: October 13, 2023
Runtime: 01:50
Synopsis:
Hen and Junior farm a secluded piece of land that has been in Junior’s family for generations, but their quiet life is thrown into turmoil when an uninvited stranger shows up at their door with a startling proposal.

The relationship of a young married couple is forever changed by a stranger's proposition in . In the near future, Henrietta () and her husband, Junior (), live an isolated existence on the latter's family farm. Late one night, the couple is visited by Terrance (), who informs Junior that he has been shortlisted for a space habituation program, where he would be sent to live on a space station. While Junior is gone, Terrance plans to develop an A.I. double to live with Henrietta in his place.

Foe Synopsis

Foe is a science fiction-tinged drama directed by Garth Davis (Lion), based on the novel of the same name written by Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things), who also co-wrote the screenplay with Davis. The film stars Saoirse Ronan (Little Women) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun) as a young married couple who have grown apart living alone on a farm. However, as Junior prepares to go live in space, the love between him and Henrietta. However, when Terrance, played by Aaron Pierre (Brother), moves in to observe Junior's behaviour to program an A.I. replacement, Junior begins to suspect something is not quite right.

My Thoughts on Foe

Taking place around four decades in the future when Earth is much less habitable than it is today, Foe uses its speculative sci-fi premise to set the stage for a romantic drama that is also partially a psychological thriller. At the start of the film, it is apparent that the marriage of Junior and Henrietta is not in a good stage, as Hen tells Junior to sleep in the guest room. However, something rekindles between the couple when it is learned that Junior will live in space. However, the couple also have to deal with the moral ramifications of an A.I. robot coming to live with Hen in Junior's place.

Not wanting to give away too much about the second half of the film, I have to say that I thought that Foe runs perhaps 20 minutes too long, and the science fiction thriller elements end up bogging down the more interesting relationship drama aspect of the story. Also, if you aren't paying careful attention, it is possible to get confused by the film's ending, which includes several callbacks to earlier scenes.

Altogether, I would say that Foe is a fine film with solid performances by Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal. However, the science fiction elements of the story feel tacked on and unnecessary. Foe might have been better if it was just a straightforward relationship drama.

Trailer for Foe

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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