Judy & Punch Review
What’s It About?
A tale about an abusive husband and his wife, who try to forge a life by the sea as marionettes. But success goes to his head, with events soon taking a turn.
Who’s In It?
Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland, Jane Eyre, Lawless, & Stoker)
Damon Herriman (Justified, The Water Diviner, Once Upon A Time I Hollywood)
Director: Mirrah Foulkes (debut)
Despite carving out an impressive career as an actress, Mirrah Foulkes has turned her attention to directing. Tackling some big themes regarding feminism and domestic abuse, her debut feature Judy & Punch is told in a hugely interesting and quirky way mixing humour with brutality.
The story centres on the well-known tale of puppets Punch & Judy, but features them as a real life couple, living in the rural town of Seaside, plying their trade as marionettes. On the cusp of success, it is clear that one of them is supremely talented, and it is not Punch. Unfortunately he is oblivious to this fact and very much takes his wife for granted.
As their success increases and there is a very real prospect of them hitting the big time and moving their show to the city, drink, ego and dark forces begin to get the better of Punch.
Shot in a mix between medieval and fantastical, mixing Shakespearean and modern parlance, Judy & Punch is an intriguing mix. Not all of it works, particularly the final act and an odd speech, but hugely impressive performances from Mia Wasikowska and a volatile Damon Herriman result in a hugely captivating debut feature.
In A Nutshell:
Fine performances & an intriguing premise will ensure that director Mirrah Foulkes will be pleased as Punch with her debut.
Mia Wasikowska & Damon Herriman’s performances
The final act and some of the comedy