Hulu's 'Run': Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen's portrayal of toxic mother-daughter bond adds value to mediocre film
'Run' on Hulu stars Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen in lead roles as Diane Sherman and Chloe Sherman, and it'll release on Friday, November 20
A mother who is obsessive about being needed, to the extent that she has her daughter believe that she is unfit to live without being taken care of by her mother. She has her daughter diagnosed with a bunch of medical conditions that have strapped the young girl to the wheelchair and the mother is being applauded by everyone, including the daughter for being selfless. Doesn't this premise sound familiar? It did to us too, especially after Hulu's 'The Act' which spotlighted the real-life story of Gypsy Blanchard and her mother Dee Dee Blanchard who suffered from Munchausen By Proxy disease.
In Aneesh Chaganty directorial, what keeps us interested until the end is actors Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen's performance and the way they have treated their characters. Chloe's (Allen) world comes crashing one fine day when she notices that one of her prescriptions doesn't have her name on it, but someone else's. Until that moment, the world that she had believed in and was a part of only had space for her mother who loved her more than anything and anyone. She did not feel imprisoned, she did not feel forced into a situation and she definitely did not feel the need to explore the world; not like Gypsy did. Chloe, also wholeheartedly believed that her mother Diane always worked with the best interest of her daughter in mind.
So when her world did come crashing down, the moment definitely held more weight and this weight is what adds momentum to the thriller. There is truly no false note when it comes to either Paulson or Allen's performance, however, the writing is not the same class of brilliance that the performance was at. Take the scene where Allen attempts to escape from her bedroom for instance! One wouldn't really guess that a girl who has been using a wheelchair all her life, would attempt to escape through the roof. The fact that she would go to this extent calls attention to her desperation and fear; and there are more such moments between Diane and Chloe that leave us impressed. But what really grabs our attention is not the film, but the performance and that is from the very beginning.
The opening scenes that feature Chloe's everyday activities -- like getting herself tested, her mother helping her stretch, and other mundane activities -- set up the best possible beginning for what turns out to be an emotionally taxing, intense story about a mother who is scared of being abandoned, of being left alone and not being needed and a daughter who has been abused and manipulated to believe that she suffered from a condition that was not even real. We begin to root for Chloe, and we continue to watch how things pan out for her and her toxic mother. The thriller gives the run of the mill premise a twist with its treatment and that is what works in favor of this Paulson starrer. Here, what Chloe is running from is a suffocating, abusive relationship with her mother who hides her abuse in the garb of love.
'Run' will be available to stream on Hulu from November 20.