I’m Your Woman is brought to life by a powerful performance from Rachel Brosnahan…
The overwhelming majority of mafia or gangster movies are stories told from the men’s front. At the center of the breed are males. Female characters stand out only in terms of their approach to crime and the criminal or the roles they play in conflicts between men. Women are often drawn as passive personalities in need of man’s protection.
Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) does not look much different in the first scenes of ‘Zorlu Escape’ (I’m Your Woman), which we did not even realize that it was a mafia movie for a long time due to its extraordinary approach. He begins telling the story of his marriage like a love story, but ends the story immediately by saying that he has no children. She is no different than a desperate housewife sitting in the garden wearing the dress she has given as a gift from her husband and has not even taken off her label… The inability to find scissors to cut the label in her own house seems to indicate that she has no control over many things in her life. Immediately after, in one of the strangest moments of the movie, when his wife, Eddie (Bill Heck), appears at the door with a baby in his arms, we inevitably bond between the labeled garment and the doll. Jean lives at home; Eddie receives gifts to keep him happy. The baby seems to be one of these gifts and Jean accepts the baby without any objection.
‘I’m Your Woman’ is a film based on Jean’s learning to be a mother and exist independently of Eddie… For Jean, this is a very difficult process; because, in the middle of the night, she has to leave her house, her established order, with her baby in her arms. With Eddie’s disappearance, he becomes the target of the police and the mafia.
For a long part of the movie, Jean can’t stop being a passive character in need of protection. Eddie is forced to do whatever Cal (Arinzé Tick), Eddie’s partner or tasked with protecting him, says. When we consider the baby in her arms and the safety issue, she doesn’t seem to stand a chance anyway. While trying to get used to a lonely life without Eddie and the baby he named Harry, he doesn’t really take the fact that his life safety is in danger at first. During this period, she still acts like an angry wife waiting for Eddie to come and fix her problems. But as the threat grows, he stops waiting and begins to act like a responsible, mature individual. Especially Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake) being included in the story as the other woman who is the victim of the mafia and Jean’s seeing the “big picture” is the turning point. She refuses to be a passive character and decides to exercise her right to self-determination.
In the last third of the story, when we discover that we are witnessing one of the mafia stories that we have watched for years, this time through the eyes of a woman, the “Difficult Escape” acquires a different quality. This is where the concept and distinctive aspects of the film fit into place. We see the traditional male-looking mafia movie reversed.
At that point, the movie does not deal with unnecessary details. ‘What was the issue between Eddie and the big boss? Questions like “Who’s after what?” Lose their significance. We look at the events through the eyes of two mothers from a much more crucial point. Jean is not alone here. Together with the other victims of the mafia, they are in a kind of ‘family front’ and together they fight for existence against the white male mafia.
Director Julia Hart shapes her understanding of camera use and editing entirely through Jean’s perspective. We see the events through her eyes and discover everything about her husband’s secret life with her. In the last episode, the movie literally goes to another stage in the scenes where Jean and Jean are involved in the never-ending bloody inner showdown of the mafia.
Julia Hart, who co-wrote the script with her husband Jordan Horowitz, is known for her films such as ‘Miss Stevens’ (2016), ‘Fast Color’ (2018) and ‘Stargirl’ (2020). Hart manages to build an understated, convincing sense of tension that begins with Jean leaving home at midnight and continues until the end.
The shooting scene in which Jean and Teri fall into a disco and the chase sequence through the dark, secluded streets of the city towards the final bring action to the film; brings the sense of tension to the top. But Julia Hart knows how to build tension in still scenes where there is no conflict. In all the scenes involving Jean’s journey with Cal and the “safe house” where he later settled with his baby, the tension always goes on. Jean’s uneasiness in a city he does not know, the feeling of isolation he lives at home, and his concerns about being unable to cope with the baby are well explained. In many scenes there doesn’t seem to be a serious threat, but even when Jean walks in the stroller at dusk we get nervous. We can’t get rid of the feeling that something bad will happen.
We sense a western sending in the cottage outside of the city where Cal took him. The club becomes a turning point for him. From Art (Frankie Faison), who approaches him in a fatherly manner, he learns to use a gun and there he again makes the decision to act.
I’m Your Woman has a world of different “paintings” in terms of visual atmosphere. The house where Jean lives with Eddie is depicted as a bright, wide and spacious space that symbolizes the sense of security and prosperity. But with the escape scene, the feeling of darkness weighs heavily on the film. The feeling of uncanny rises in the mysterious house where Cal placed Jean. While the movie relieves a little with the Western hut, the atmosphere of film noir dominates with Jean and Teri coming to the city. Cinematographer Bryce Fortner does a solid job of moving between different venues and images. It reflects the feeling of the 1970s with a color palette that gives a retro feel and sometimes fades to pale yellow. I especially like to say that I love the color and light of the night chase scenes in the city. Let’s not forget the production and costume design that reflects the feel of the 1970s in an unpretentious, simple but correct way. Especially the nightclub scene effectively reflects the disco atmosphere of the 1970s.
As for the actors, it is undoubtedly necessary to mention Rachel Brosnahan, who also signed the film as a producer … One of the most popular series of Prime Video, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Brosnahan, born in 1990, known for Maisel, makes a great contribution to the film in which he takes part in almost every scene with his simple, functional and natural acting. Brosnahan’s performance also plays a role in the success as well as the script and directing. Arinzé Tick at Cal and Marsha Stephanie Blake do well at Teri. By the way, I would like to point out that the twins Jameson and Justin Charles, who play baby Harry, are very cute.
I’m Your Woman, which had its world premiere in AFI Fest last October, was included in Prime Video’s content on December 11 after its limited release in the USA on December 4. I think it is a good option for moviegoers in a time when it is difficult to watch new and quality movies.