In that description we can capture some of what Emma Stone has achieved so spectacularly in Poor Things. With a mind of child(literally planted in her by a Frankenstein-like creator , played by the unconventionally sculpted Willem Dafoe, whom she calls God)

Poor Things, Emma Stone Dazzles As  A  Childlike Nymphomaniac 885008

Starring Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott, Jerrod Carmichael

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Rating: **** ½

Imagine Sridevi in Sadma with an over-healthy sexual appetite, a curiosity to explore the world with as much enthusiasm as her body.

In that description we can capture some of what Emma Stone has achieved so spectacularly in Poor Things. With a mind of child(literally planted in her by a Frankenstein-like creator , played by the unconventionally sculpted Willem Dafoe, whom she calls God) Bella Baxter is a restless child-woman in Victorian England whose vaginal craving is getting out of hand, literally.

The hand is just not enough to quench that voracious appetite.

As played by the stupendous Emma Stone Bella is a creature of appetites. When she first has sex , she describes it as “furious jumping”, an activity she takes to like a fish to water. She just can’t have enough of it.

Bella’s appetite is whorish in its voraciousness. But she refuses to be slut-shamed,at a time when slut-shaming was prevalent but not labelled as such, Bella ploughs her way through numerous sexcapades .

At one point in her journey with the besotted amorous cheesy suitor Duncan Wedderburn(Mark Ruffalo, delightfully and unapologetically over-the-top, to match the fairytale pop-out like topography) Bella questions him on why men lose their stamina after multiple intercourse while women don’t.

No , Bella is not a feminist. She is just a woman who has lately discovered she loves sex. She also loves the idea that she can make money out of it, and happily becomes a prostitute for a while before moving on to another adventure.

This is a woman who stops at nothing. Strangely she gets away with her excessive desires and cravings.That’s where movies and their insatiable appetite for wish fulfilment come in.

There is something to be said about a child-woman who travels across several countries with a male companion and returns home to London with enough knowledge about the world and her body to hold her in good sex…sorry, stead through several lifetimes.

Emma Stone makes Bella Baxter believable in all her blustering lurid peregrination.This is the most fearless uninhibited performance I’ve seen by a major female actor in recent times. This is Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos second collaboration with Emma Stone after The Favourite. They are already working on a third project.

Watch Poor Things, and you will know why Ms Stone is Mr Lanthimos’ muse.No one understands the director’s politics of sex better than Emma Stone. She lets all the creative and bodily juices flow into her character without spilling a drop even she is, ah, furious jumping.

About The Author
Subhash K Jha

Subhash K. Jha is a veteran Indian film critic, journalist based in Patna, Bihar. He is currently film critic with leading daily The Times of India, Firstpost, Deccan chronicle and DNA News, besides TV channels Zee News and News18 India.