Bones and All review

Cannibalistic romance provides underlying commentary on society

Content warning: this article mentions blood and cannibalism.

Die hard Timothee Chalamet admirers flocked to the theaters on the weekends of December expecting to watch a typical romance movie. No one expected Chalamet to play a cannibal high school dropout, named Lee. The movie then progresses to follow his odyssey-like adventure accompanied by his fellow cannibal lover, Maren.

Chalamet is well known for his performances in movies such as “Little Women,” “Call Me By Your Name,” “Ladybird” and other lighthearted romance movies. However, Chalamet’s co-production and performance in “Bones and All” marks a turning point in his career.

The plot follows two young people, Lee and Maren, on a quest to find Maren’s mother in order to explain her strange condition—cannibalism. Lee aids Maren on the quest while also helping her cope with being a cannibal.

The movie contains various graphic scenes that include blood and human eating, turning many viewers off. However, the concept of cannibalism is not the central theme of the movie, and instead works as a base for the plot. The characters who engage in cannibalism serve as metaphors for living as outcasts of society. In this movie, the pariahs, Lee and Maren, finally find someone who can fully understand them.

The two outsiders embark on a quest for identity, traveling across the rural Midwest in an old pickup truck. The tender romance and adventure serve to contrast horrific murders and robberies. Maren and Lee’s romance provides the audience with a comforting, classic teen romance feel, leaving many viewers speculating that the actors have continued their romance off-screen.

However, the romance differs from a classic love story. The movie puts viewers through an emotional rollercoaster, providing a paradox of gore and brutality while sympathizing for the two’s affection for each other. The characters knowing about the immorality of their actions, yet not being able to do anything about their condition, helps the viewer commiserate with such brutal acts to the point where the viewer can’t blame them for killing and eating people.

The ending of the movie successfully synthesizes all the main themes of the movie, including the romance and problems involving the strange condition. The movie intensifies real life themes of addiction and romance, revealing themes about our society. The director is famous for the academy award winning romance “Call Me By Your Name.” “Bones and All” is a more intense version of the romance, admittingly graphic yet at the same time amazingly alluring.