Directed by: Jason Reitman
Produced by: Jason Blumenfeld, Jason Cloth, Diablo Cody
Written by: Diablo Cody
Starring: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston.
When I first watched the trailer for Tully, I was horrified. True story. My first impression being that I was headed for a film dealing with all that’s wrong with childbearing. My suspicion was that with such a beginning, there was only one way it could end. An ode to motherhood.
Now, here is the thing. Of all people this film could have been assigned to, I was the less qualified for the job for I am childless and proud to be so. But if there is something I enjoy more than a challenge is to be proven wrong.
Tully is much more than a mother’s journey to cope with the unexpected. It is an ode, yes, but to the individuals lying within and how society looks down upon them in the face of struggle. Brave, spirited women risking their bodies, their careers, their whole lives to bear the next generation. Unrecognised, underrated, unknown.
This film reunites director Jason Reitman, writer Diablo Cody and star Charlize Theron, all of whom previously collaborated on Young Adult (2011), and has been referred to as Juno’s sequel. Probably because both these films portray pregnancy with a realistic yet magical insight.
Tully has been subject to some controversy surrounding its depiction of postnatal (or postpartum) depression and other mental illness. Those that take issue with the portrayal of these subjects do so because the conditions are never specifically named and because they feel that there isn’t enough treatment shown on-screen. Those that champion the film feel that it is more accurate for not naming the condition, since postnatal (or postpartum) depression is severely under-diagnosed, and that the film actually does a service by causing debate about these under-discussed topics.
Charlize Theron gained 50 pounds for the role. She adhered to an excessive diet of junk food, processed foods, In n Out Burger, and milkshakes. Theron would eat macaroni and cheese at 2 a.m. to help keep on the weight. Theron said that her youngest child had mistaken her for being pregnant, given the extensive weight gain, and that it took a year and a half for her to be able to shed the weight.
For me, the moral of the story is that I was dead-wrong. If there is something I learnt watching Tully is that motherhood is not a blessing nor a curse. It is an adventure of the self between who we are and who we could become. If we dare.
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