I started by hating this film. Then it gradually dawned on me that it wasn’t the film that was hateful. It was its heroine Milo(Molly Bernard) a 20-something rudderless vagabond who hasn’t figured out what she wants to do with her life, except alienate all those who are close to her. That seems to be a full-time preoccupation for Milo. She pushes away even her best friend Noor (played by Ava Eisenson, who looks nothing like ‘Noor’) and is mean spiteful and nasty to her gay roommate George (Robin de Jesus). George of course is a goofy sweetheart. Gay stereotyping.
So what makes Milo decide to become a surrogate mother to a 55-year old gay man Roger(Patrick Breen) who has given up on the idea of fatherhood? Suddenly Milo, a child of whimsy if ever there was one, decides she will do that “ONE GOOD THING” to redeem her vacuous aimless useless existence.
From the minute Milo agrees to carry George’s seed, the narrative converts from famished to greedy. The film, like Milo, wants to make up for a lost time, ladling the gentle wisdom into an arrangement that is a horrible mistake. I saw nothing maternal in Milo till the end. She has an unusual face and a bearing that suggests a suppressed resentment towards all happy people in the world.
As Milo mellows, she tries to make amends with her deeply affronted friends including a black boyfriend who makes herculean efforts to be patient with her, but finally gives up when she crosses all limits. With George who pushes her away, there is no redemption.
The film shows Milo getting more than professionally attached with the gay cross-dressing father of the child she is carrying. It is only natural, I guess, considering you are carrying the art of that person inside you. But George wants it to remain professional and insists that she sign stringent legal documents that would ensure she has no legal rights over the baby.
Director Morgan Ingari has a flair for understatement. Potentially inflammatory sequences are kept on a tight leash preventing Milo and George’s growing tensions from erupting into a full-blown showdown. I loved that last shot in the film where on a bridge in Brooklyn Milo sees George cradling his child. Her child. She walks away quietly, not saying anything, not allowing any of the emotions to come out. I thought the end is where the real story of Milo, now more likeable, more accommodating, actually began. And though I hated her for most of the film I am curious to know what Milo does next.
Directed by Morgan Ingari, Milkwater vets 3 stars!
Image Source: Instagram/milkwaterfilm , youtube/wolfevideo
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