By Brett Mullins
Boxing Helena is directorial debut of Jennifer Lynch, daughter of the famed director, David Lynch (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet).
Nick Cavanaugh is a masterful surgeon who becomes obsessed with a woman, following a one night stand. Illustrating his affluence and power, and neglecting his current girlfriend, Anne, Nick hosts an extravagant party with Helena, his obsession, in mind. Helena departs early from the party with another man in her arms. She returns the next day to retrieve her ‘misplaced’ address book and is struck by an automobile. Awaking from the tragic event, Helena finds herself laying legless in a bed at Nick’s house. Nick resigns from the hospital and vows to forever devote himself to his patient/victim.
Boxing Helena is, without doubt, a rather creepy film; however, it appears to lack any sort of underlying sinister message other than being degrading toward men. The majority of men featured in the film are greatly flawed as either obsessive, snobbish or willing to turn a blind eye to further their career. While this may be an accurate representation of modern men, this has little to no effect on enhancing the film.
There is also a bit of a commentary on the effects of feeling unwanted as a child. This topic is not adequately explored and provides only an assumed motive for the manner in which Nick acts.
Ultimately, these issues could be overlooked if it was not for how boring the film was. At times, it was a struggle to continue watching because, in addition of the clunky camera work, there weren’t many characters for the audience to relate to. If the audience can make their way to the conclusion of the film, they will find a much better than expected ending, although still not quite satisfying.