Level 16 could be used to talk about feminism and autonomy but from an entertainment perspective? It’s a bit of a bore.
|Written By||Danishka Esterhazy|
|Good If You Like||Films Which Have A Lukewarm Message You Could Expand On|
|Isn’t For You If You||Aren’t Trying To Write A Feminist Dissertation and Just Want To Be Entertained|
|Ms. Brixil||Sara Canning|
|Dr. Miro||Peter Outerbridge|
Level 16 Plot Summary (Ending Explained on Page 2)
Somewhere in Belarus is a school for young ladies which grooms them to be the perfect docile girls. However, one by one they learn their school, Vestalis, may not be as Ms. Brixil and Dr. Miro make it seem. Leading two girls, Vivien and Sophia, to not only search for the truth but a means to escape.
You Could Find Deeper Meaning If You Wanted To
Level 16 has all that is required to present an article on feminism. We have young girls from childhood indoctrinated about purity in skin, being made to be docile, and waiting for a savior. On top of that, female friendships are weakened, and distrust sowed to keep women from forming bonds which could disturb the system. Also, once the secret is revealed, one could argue there comes the topic of traitors amongst the gender, how men create and reinforce ideals which are impossible for women to live up to, and so much more.
On The Fence
This Film Is So Dull
But, while someone could try to drum up this film and make it seem profound, I won’t. Why? Because this film was honestly too dull to get excited enough to go on such a tangent. Most of the girls, besides Sophia, Vivien, perhaps Ava, you will not be able to identify if you were given a name and a picture to match to. Then, when it comes to the secret and big reveal, it isn’t some huge shock or anything which would drive you to open your eyes wide.
Don’t get me wrong, Vestalis’ purpose makes sense, but neither Dr. Miro nor Ms. Brixil are performed in such a way to make the mystery or the truth all that interesting. Heck, even when the girls slowly learn the truth, nothing about their performances drive this film to be something worth taking note of.
Level 16 could have had more impact if only it had stronger characters and writing. As noted, you can see so many bits of commentary on how girls are raised and how women are subjected to unrealistic standards. There is even the issue of women willingly assisting men in continuing this cycle of oppression either for approval or because they have been deeply brainwashed. If not they recognize the closest they can get to be empowered is by oppressing their own on behalf of their oppressor.
Yet, even with saying all that, this is a solid mixed title. It had potential and wasted it. All by keeping things very surface level and consistently hinting it could go further, but deciding that might require a bit too much effort. So, like many films, it seems to have left potential fans to find the deeper meaning and push the idea Level 16 is better than it is.