Una review – look back in anger

Rooney Mara is superb as a woman reunited with her childhood abuser in this tricky adaptation of David Harrower’s play

Outstanding central performances from Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn can’t quite ease the tricky transition from stage to screen of this uncomfortable drama by David Harrower. It explores a young woman’s complex and, frankly, very unsettling response to the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of the neighbour who claimed he loved her. Mara plays Una with an unblinking intensity that makes you want to flinch away from the screen; Mendelsohn is slippery and charming as Ray, the man who ruined her life. Flashbacks are elegantly threaded through the highly charged reunion between Una and her abuser. It’s an encounter that is captured with hard, cold photography and divisive framing. Pacing issues are the main problem here – the airless tension dissipates as soon as Una is left alone.

Watch the trailer for Una.


Wendy Ide

The GuardianTramp

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