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The End We Start From (2023) - Movie Review

Movies & TV

By Jackie W.

- Dec 13, 2023

In "The End We Start From," director Mahalia Belo crafts an understated yet powerful opening scene for this intimate sci-fi drama, a film about surviving an environmental disaster with a newborn. The scene, a slowly filling bathtub, subtly reflects the impending crisis, setting the tone for a film that focuses on the human aspect of catastrophe rather than grand-scale visuals.

The film stays grounded in its portrayal of the nameless individuals caught in the disaster, thanks to the evocative cinematography of Suzie Lavelle. At its core, "The End We Start From" is a poignant exploration of motherhood, anchored by Jodie Comer's compelling performance. Known for her versatile roles in “Killing Eve,” Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” and Jeff Nichols’ “The Bikeriders,” Comer delivers another masterful performance as the protagonist, simply named Mother.

The narrative begins with Mother experiencing the early signs of an environmental disaster in her London home, followed by a strikingly realistic birthing scene. Soon, Mother, her husband (portrayed with vulnerability by Joel Fry), and their newborn must leave their flooded home for safer grounds. Adapting Megan Hunter’s novel, screenwriter Alice Birch, known for "Normal People," "Lady Macbeth," and "The Wonder," captures the trials and resilience inherent in womanhood.

The End We Start From (2023) - Movie Review

Comer's portrayal of Mother is a testament to her skill, as she navigates through dangerous shelters and forests, driven by a primal instinct to protect her child. The film is an anxiety-inducing journey not because of bombastic action but because of its authentic depiction of motherhood and the precarious nature of survival.

"The End We Start From" also resonates with its portrayal of isolation and the fragility of societal support systems, a theme made all the more relevant by recent global events like the Covid pandemic. This sense of solitude is a significant theme, with Mother often finding herself making tough decisions to ensure survival. Along her journey, she encounters characters like Katherine Waterston’s nurturing mother and Benedict Cumberbatch in a memorable scene that allows Mother a momentary reprieve.

While the film occasionally struggles to maintain its momentum, Comer’s outstanding performance consistently captivates, driving the narrative forward. "The End We Start From" is ultimately Jodie Comer's film, a showcase of her immense talent that immerses the audience in the reality of her character's world.


7 / 10

In "The End We Start From," director Mahalia Belo crafts an understated yet powerful opening scene for this intimate sci-fi drama.