As someone who doesn’t know a lot about Karen Gillan other than the fact that she plays Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was curious to watch her in a role outside of the MCU. Especially in a role that she had such a large part in. The Party’s Just Beginning not only stars Gillan, but the actress wrote and directed the 2018 film. As a fan of indie films, this serious drama/dark comedy seemed right up my alley. And I’m here to let you know why, if you have Hulu, you should check this film out.
Gillan plays Liusaidh. Liusaidh works at the cheese counter of a local store and goes out at night to get plastered and have sexual relations with complete strangers. Liusaidh does all of this because she is dealing with the one year anniversary of her best friend’s suicide. It very obvious, very early on that Liusaidh is a mess. And while she is out dancing and seemingly having a good time, she is not happy. We frequently see her staring off into nothing or reminiscing about good times with her friend Alistair. Her relationship with her parents is not a happy one, as it seems that both she and her parents are unwilling to really socialize with each other, making Liusaidh feel even more alienated from the world.
Throughout the movie, Liusaidh talks to an elderly man on the phone who called her landline, mistaking it for a helper hotline. Liusaidh finds solace in this elderly man and the two are a bit of kindred spirits, as he too is incredibly lonely after the death of his wife. At some point in the film, Liusaidh meets Lee Pace’s Dale. At first, their encounter is just the usual for her, casual sex. Dale, though; tracks Liusaidh down and the two meet up on a more frequent basis. This relationship isn’t meant to last, though; and Dale leaves. At least Liusaidh thinks he leaves, but on her way to visit Alistair’s place of death (a bridge over train tracks), she finds Dale there. Contemplating suicide due to life not turning out how he thought it would be. Liusaidh talks him off the ledge in what could have been a therapeutic moment for her; being able to save someone. Dale leaves though for good this time and Liusaidh is lonely again.
Gillan Does a Great Job in Her Portrayal of a Grieving Woman
Liusaidh goes back to her self-destructive behavior, which lands her in an incredibly dangerous situation. I believe that while going through all of this, Liusaidh not only realizes that she’s angry at being left alone, but sees how someone could be driven to the moment that made Alistair decide to take his own life. Faced with that own decision, Liusaidh instead decides to move on. She makes an effort to associate with her parents and socialize with another friend and we as the audience feel that maybe the healing has begun for her.
The Party’s Just Beginning is a realistic window into how someone would feel after losing someone in such a horrific fashion. Gillan is able to display the drab, thoughtlessly moving through life funk that someone may in the same situation. As stark as her destructive behaviors are, she presents them realistically and the moments are incredibly raw. The stark contrast between dancing and seemingly having a good time at the club and her being void of emotions on the walk home were really well-balanced.
Lee Pace and Karen Gillan have fantastic chemistry in this film and I do wonder if that’s because the two had worked together on Guardians of the Galaxy previous to this movie. I longed for more scenes between the two, but ultimately this was Liusaidh’s story. Considering Gillan wrote and directed this movie, I think she is someone that we need to look out for when it comes to the future of directing film. The Party’s Just Beginning is a marvelous entry for her and now I am feeling that with time, she could be a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s director seat. That’s just me.
If you’ve seen The Party’s Just Beginning, let me know what you think! If not, please go to Hulu and watch it!
A girl with too many fandoms to count.