Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Ernest, just breathe.
Here I am, in the theater, making groans as if I am watching a doctor perform emergency surgery, bilious at the sight of blood.
Within the first ten minutes of Into the Forest, I want the best for Nell, Eva, and their single dad Robert. These two sincere, sweet, sassy sisters start the film indifferent to each other. One loves dancing, one favors studying. All the same, you feel the love between them, strong as the gravity that keeps planets in their orbits.
And Robert: a father with compassion, understanding, and unconditional love for his offspring. Though if you think too long on his unreasonable temperance (imagine Jesus as a monk), it might bring you to tears.
I know, I’m softer than a batch of no-bake cookies. And for this film especially, I just learned to embrace it, as you should. I mean, I love this family. Love them. And (pardon my French) every time someone f*cks with them, it’s as if they’re f*cking with me.
The family of three lives in an isolated home in a remote forest sometime in the not too distant future. When a continent-wide power outage strikes, they discover that the world they know is suddenly teetering on the brink of self-destruction. Their peaceful lives change forever as they fight to survive against obstacles both human and environmental.
But they’re too deep into the forest. And in a way so is the world, lost in its worship of technology.
Only, Siri can’t help you now.
You remember when you had a blizzard or a thunderstorm, and you didn’t have power for a few hours? You were a little irritated, right? I know, I was there with you. Okay, no I wasn’t, but I still know you threw a tantrum for at least a good 30 minutes. Although you knew in your heart that you’d soon be reunited with your precious Netflix.
Well, so do Nell, Eva and Pops. But for them, there is to be no Netflix reunion.
It’s painful to watch the shifts of nature that happen to them, to my family. It’s like I’m leaking internally. I have to remind myself…
Breath. Breathe. Breathe.
Their future looks bleak. Awful things have happened, and there doesn’t seem to be any hope. A society that once had everything has been reduced to rubble. Electricity, gone. Gas, depleted. Food, scarce.
I’d love to say that everything’s going to be “okay,” something a father would tell his daughters, knowing it’s nothing more than a hope. But Daddy’s gone! I don’t think they’re going to make it! I can’t promise they’ll be fine!
They’ve been through a lot, and they’re tenacious. What Nell lacks in brawn, she makes up for with heart. In this rebirth of the world, they’re unlikely warriors, but warriors nonetheless.
Forevermore, when I see the names Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler, Across the Universe) and Ellen Page (Inception, Juno), it’ll be as if we have this bond that only the three of us can understand.
What we went through together in the forest was sacred. I won’t tell anyone because it was intimate. I’m the only person they can trust because I love them. They can feel my presence rooting for them, praying for them, and last but absolutely, positively not least, avenging them.
Eva went to Satan’s basement, to Hell and back, and still chose love. If she can make in Hades, she can make it anywhere. If she can pick love, the least I can do is choose is hope.