Olivia Colman stars in this twisted psychological drama with which Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her directorial debut that you can now watch on streaming

Elena Ferrante is no longer an unknown in the audiovisual medium. The Italian novelist had some film adaptation, however, what has undoubtedly catapulted her to fame has been her series adaptation of her saga ‘The Great Friend’ for HBO. Before Netflix brings the one from ‘The Lying Life of Adults’, Maggie Gyllenhaal jumped into the pool with her own version of ‘The Dark Daughter’.

Away from the madding crowd

Leda (Olivia Colman) is a reserved woman on vacation on a Greek island. Her sought-after tranquility is shaken by an incident caused on the beach by a threatening family. There, she Leda is intrigued by a young mother (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter, which will awaken many memories that she thought (and preferred) to have forgotten.

The a priori synopsis may not be especially striking but this is one of those stories that delve into the ins and outs of the mindwhere present and past alternate while the puzzle of this character’s life is being put together and we begin to understand (or rather, assuming, because the director never gives in to the temptation of over-explaining her protagonist) why she is the way she is.

The tape is backed by a hulking Olivia Colman. The actress manages to perfectly portray the inner world of a character who barely speaks, who may seem shy but also has character and who seems to be in her own world and at the same time extremely observant. It can be a challenge for the viewer to empathize with such an opaque character at times like this and it is never the case thanks to the good work of Colman.

The Dark Daughter Olivia

Without detracting, of course, from the other two actresses accompanying her: Dakota Johnson and Jessie Buckley (who plays Leda in her youth) also achieve an outstanding performance, full of subtle details that, once again, they tell us about what each character is like without the need to verbalize it.

Directing debut

You have to give credit to Maggie Gyllenhaalwhom we know in her role as an actress (as well as Jake Gyllenhaal’s sister, of course) and whose solid directorial debut heralds a promising future for her. Gyllenhaal knows how to capture the nuances of his characters and visually reflect their moods. also know create tension from everyday gestures and actionsimmersing the viewer in that feeling that something is going to happen from one moment to another.

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The film not only shows a great sensitivity when it comes to drawing the psyche of its characters but also intertwines genres, going from costumbrista drama to thriller with commendable ease. It presents a portrait of motherhood that is quite dark, disturbing and even ruthless at times, without falling into Manichaeism or forcing the plot based on gimmicky twists.

‘The Dark Daughter’ is a surprising feature debut where Maggie Gyllenhaal brings us closer to the ins and outs of motherhood through the psychology of a complex character full of contradictions, played by a wonderful Olivia Colman. The film is available for rent on Amazon Prime Video, Filmin, Movistar+ and Rakuten TV.

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Olivia Colman stars in this twisted psychological drama with which Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her directorial debut that you can now watch on streaming