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2022 / Mark Jenkin / Hulu / R

This is a slow thoughtful film, the director's intention is not to give us a story, but rather paint us a picture.

Breaking Down Enys Men

According to Wikipedia Enys Men means Stone Island in Cornish, a long-forgotten Celtic language. This film most definitely does take place on a stone island, there's no doubt about that. We follow a wildlife volunteer whose sole task is to record the changes in the growth of a flower. The film progresses into a surreal character study of the volunteer. We meet a handful of characters along the way but we're never sure if they exist. Oh, and there's lichen growing on stuff and things.

enys men

The Team Behind Enys Men

Mark Jenkin, aka Mr. Artsy Fartsy, this man is not only the director of this film, but also the writer. He's also directed Bait and Bronco's House. Bait won quite a few awards so maybe it's more worth checking out, it's on Hulu as well. Mary Woodvine as the volunteer is mesmerizing in a sense, so I understand why he chose her. Flo Crowe plays the girl, and her presence is most definitely felt. Everyone else's role in this film is minimal and with that being the case I'm not going to get into it any farther.

enys men

Jake's Take on Enys Men

This is a director's film made for directors. I understand why it did well at the festivals, but it seems to me that sometimes there's a wave of excitement that follows a screening, and those who initially saw the film talk it up far more than it deserves; this is one of those films. I tend to enjoy slower-paced, atmospheric films (A Ghost Story, The Killing of A Sacred Dear), but I fear that the internet is beginning to praise films like Skinamarink too often. TikTok is helping to illuminate these low-budget high-brow films as something they're not... and that something is good. It has occurred to me how ironic that last sentence is when we're discussing 7-second clips compared to 90-minute films.

Once you begin to understand that Enys Men is about one woman's isolation and her reflection on her life, you also realize how much of your time has been devoured. Is it thoughtful? Yes. Is it pretentious? Also yes. Is it worth an hour and a half of your time? I think not. But, hey, if you decide that this film seems interesting to you and you'd like to share your thoughts with me, I'd absolutely be stoked to hear from you.

Once the credits roll, what do you think happens next in Enys Men?

  • The young lady and the old lady fall in love.

  • The sailor dude and the miners all fall in love.

  • The flower sprouts wings of lichen and flies away.


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