It wouldn't be too far from the truth to say that whenever Rooney Mara pops up in a film, you know there's something juicy and exciting afoot. This is exhibited perfectly through the trailer for Mara's latest film, The Secret Scripture. On the surface, the film would appear to be a simple story of a love triangle gone awry, but there seems to be some bigger things happening underneath the surface. Don't let the beautiful, tortured visages of Mara, Theo James, Jack Reynor, and Aidan Turner fool you. This is a story squarely focused on its female protagonist and the turmoil that lies within her.
From the outset, The Secret Scripture looks like a period drama focusing on Mara's tortured heroine, Rose. The story appears to be told in flashback as Rose recounts, in the present day, how she came to live at the mental asylum when she ostensibly has no reason to be there. Well, no reason aside from the fact that, according to the synopsis, she was placed there.
The movie is adapted from Sebastian Barry's novel of the same name. Here's the plot synopsis of The Secret Scripture, according to IndieWire:
"The film follows the story of Roseanne McNulty, an elderly woman who has spent 50 years in a mental institution in Ireland. The film takes viewers into Roseanne’s past. As a young woman, Roseanne was involved in a love triangle between a fighter pilot and a priest that had devastating consequences for all three of them."
By all accounts, this film has the potential to be a massive success. The Ireland-set film will hit theaters in Ireland and the U.K. in May, after debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. (It's unclear when the movie will make its way to the U.S.) The story itself is deeply entwined with Irish history, tracking Rose's troubled young life against the political upheaval in Ireland in the earlier 20th century.
What's more intriguing than the historical drama, though, is the way that the film will handle Rose's clash with the men in her life. She appears to be nearly hounded by a variety of men for romantic or political reasons and it does not sit well with her. The kind of strong focus on the desires of a young woman in mid-century Ireland — desires which will most definitely clash strongly with the way men want to handle her — appears to be the driving narrative action here. The fact that Mara's character ends up locked up, seemingly against her will, only makes this clash between male and female desire even more potent.
If that's the case, sign me the heck up. The Secret Scripture looks astonishingly good.