The Company of Wolves (1984)
Directed by: Neil Jordan
Directed by: Neil Jordan
The company of wolves is most definitely a movie that will stay with me, for a very long time, due to its abnormality and its metaphors, which it has a lot of.
The movie is based upon the fairy tale ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ except with a sexual desire, development and lust.
Throughout the movie sexual tension is shown, where it revolves around the protagonist, Rosaleen, Little Red Riding Hood. The aspect of men being wolves inside, aka, sexual predators, is shown first when Rosaleen dreams of her sister being chased through the woods, this represents her becoming of age, and seeing her sister do so; the wolves will force their way onto her, which can also be seen as puberty, it’s inevitable. We also see the toys on her window place become destroyed by the wolf while he enters, this is another metaphor for her childhood coming to a end.
The first signs of Rosaleen becoming a woman can be seen at the beginning, she is currently in her room suffering from “tummy pains” which can be determined her first minstrel cycle. The same scene is shown throughout the film while she is dreaming about another world that she exists within… We also see this scene at the very end of the movie, with the exception of wolves at her door, with one wolf jumping through the window, the relevance of this can also be linked to her sister, its puberty forcing its way in, its fierce, strange, but at the same time terrifying.
It is also interesting to see where else throughout the movie the representation from other fairy tale stories, from the gingerbread man, the two rats/mice that come out of the clock, as well as the white rabbit, these animals and elements don’t even need mention because we all instinctively place them in childhood stories we have heard.
The Devil also makes an appearance…
"Chauffeur driven through a fairytale forest in a white Rolls-Royce, The Devil stops by a teenage boy and hands him a potion telling him to “waste not, want not.” The boy drinks it and is horrified to find hair growing on his chest. Jordan collaborated with the novelist Angela Carter on this dreamlike horror film which is essentially a metaphor about the end of childhood and the onset of adult sexual desires."
He seems to be the root of the evil that tames the wolves, it is believed within the film that if you are born on Christmas, and feet first out of your mother with a pair of eyebrows that meet in the middle, you are one of his wolves that will be dragged to hell.
This shows that sexuality can be closely linked to vulgar and deceit, which can make it very fearful for some, thus fear being linked to the Devil, which must makes fear and lust the work of the Devil. We see the Devil promising a boy to become a man with a small potion, but unfortunately for the boy’s sake it was a trick to turn him into a wolf.
Rosaleen, also seen to be Little Red Riding Hood, is finally confronted by a wolf, in which killed her grandmother, the wolf doesn’t appear to want harm to her, but he does seduce her. He also asks her to put her Riding Hood (Shawl) into the fire; it is believed that the shawl is an item of protection which was given to her from her grandmother, thus the wolf is asking her to remove this protection, which can also be seen as her becoming naked. Eventually the wolf wins in seducing her, and we see Rosaleen turned into a wolf, which is the first representation of a woman as a wolf, it also closely links what Rosaleen’s mother said regarding a woman’s power being an equal match to a man’s. I also find it interesting that the Grandmother is shown as a blood relation towards Rosaleen, but is also never seen in the real world when Rosaleen is awake
It is obvious that through the movie men can be represented by wolves, but I also believe, an yet to find anyone who agrees or disagrees, that there are also a great deal of snakes, which are watching and looming over Rosaleen in the film, but are never acknowledged, the snake can of course be related to the genital area of a man which can be feared by some women who have little knowledge of that particular area.
When Rosaleen’s sister is found dead, that night we see Rosaleen’s parents have sex, and Rosaleen wakes up just as they finish, and she sees her mother lean her head against her hand in a triangle action, seeing this Rosaleen copies the pose, this can be seen as her curiosity about sex, the feeling, and the sensation it brings to a female.
Eventually Rosaleen and the Wolf are discovered by the hunters and her parents, but…
“…and following him off into the woods. Rosaleen's transformation is seemingly both voluntary and freeing. It offers us a definitive reversal of the victim role in which Red Riding Hood and those interchangeable female horror film characters are typically cast…”
This can be seen as Rosaleen accepting her adulthood and following her partner into the woods, thus leaving her childhood
I conclude that the movie, with all I can see all the representation and symbolism coming together it shows…
“…unique portrayal of a young woman's journey to maturity…”
Which grasped me to find the story and plot very unusual but at the same time making perfect sense. It was definitely a learning curve.