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  • Strictly Films

Happening; Grade: B

Happening is based around a memoir, where it tells a tale about a woman named Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei) whom is heavily invested in her studies as she plans to become a professor someday, as I believe she majored English Literature. Anne went to a doctors check up as she wasn’t feeling too well, as it turns out she’s a few weeks pregnant. Anne must’ve slept with a guy she met at a party, as things apparently led to them to having unprotected sex, as Anne was hoping nothing would come out of it but unfortunately for her… It did. Anne is trying to proceed in getting an abortion as she simply can not have a baby at the time being, unfortunately for Anne getting access to an abortion is a lot more difficult to achieve, on the count in her country abortions are banned. Witness a young woman try desperately to get an abortion at all costs.

Oddly timed for this film to be released, due to the fact there is an ongoing discussion about Roe V Wade being overturned, plus in many states in the U.S. are getting more and more stricter with Abortion Laws. No I’m not going to lecture nor give you my opinion on whether I’m for or against Abortion, simply because there are too many grown rotten children who can not be an adult for two seconds, as they can’t have a reasonable conversation regardless of differences. It’s quite embarrassing how many temper tantrums I’ve seen in the last few weeks, you know in the real world no one takes another person seriously acting like a baffling cry baby?! Where are those working in the Mental Health department, making sure these people get some serious help, on the count they are not well by any means? I will say I understand both sides on this subject matter to some degree and leave it at that.

As the plot starts to open up as this will be yet another film involving abortion, apart of me felt disappointed. We’ve seen plenty of films involving abortion in the last few years, as I feared I was going to watch the same exact story I’ve been being told over and over again. Thankfully with Happening, I was delighted that this film takes on a different approach this time around.

The story of Happening is simply told yet it’s personal, however I found the whole subject matter in terms of having a valid argument, on why people believe an abortion is an essential right for women was actually effective. Whether you agree or disagree on abortions: This film at least makes you understands and gives you valid reasons, why having an option to have one in the first place.

Here we have Anne whom is a young gal, hoping to secure an education that’ll lead her to a promising career. Now that Anne is unexpectedly pregnant… Those hopes of having a promising career, would have to be placed on hold, as she would have to take care of the baby and having a consistent father figure around would probably be unlikely, on the count they just met. Anne also brings up a considerable point on her defense: With her future life being on hold, there is a significant chance Anne will end up hating the child for it’s existence, as her chances of getting back to finishing school is unlikely and will probably end up a hard working housewife. So at least you can understand in Anne’s defense why she feels the need this would be a disaster for not only her, but more so for the child at hand as well.

What made this film much more effective on the whole getting an abortion side, is a woman’s experience with getting an abortion illegally. Whether it’s Anne trying immensely to abort the baby herself or her going to an undisclosed location, where a woman does them illegally… This process is extremely dangerous, as you fear for Anne’s life. I mean the sequences where Anne tries to do it herself, the woman attempts to abort Anne’s child, and the aftermath… It’s very tough to watch, I felt completely sick in my stomach just watching these sequences. So at least there is a valid argument, as to why legalizing a clean abortion feels essential for those in favor, as if one tries to go about it on their own… Their life can be at risk in the process. So at least this film is making valid points on this ongoing debate at least. I will have to say one thing after experiencing this film… I have 0 clue why any sane human being would want to go through this process, felt like a living nightmare and I think it’s not worth it.

Happening however does have a couple flaws at hand. There’s one major significant moment towards the third act, where Anne is desperately trying to abort this child as she’s failing, yet after all this… She somehow manages to go back to having unprotected sex with the same man?!? That moment honestly wrecked her reputation as being a likable reasonable character, because that moment shows she doesn’t deserve sympathy in this situation, due to her lack of responsibility. Like you would think after what’s she currently going through, that having unprotected sex would be the LAST thing she does, as unprotected sex is the reason she’s in this position in the first place. There’s a slight moment like a few minutes later, where it’s revealed a friend of Anne’s had unprotected sex all the time yet she didn’t get pregnant, as that was supposed to justify why Anne yet again had unprotected sex. That moment to me doesn’t matter: You know the risk you’re taking in having unprotected sex and if you don’t want that chance on taking on the responsibility of having a kid… THEN DON’T HAVE SEX! Just a very baffling stupid moment by Anne as had no sympathy for her afte that. The film also encounters some pacing issues, as quite a few sequences weren’t at all interesting.

Overall, Happening was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, at least this film is completely different from the past abortion like films as it actually has something to say and plays a part in the ongoing discussion at hand. -Mitch Smietana

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