By Shivani Srivastava
Netflix released “The Weekend Away” on March 3, a psychological thriller based on the book by the same name, written by Sarah Alderson. Of the cast, you may recognize Leighton Meester, who previously starred as Blair Waldorf in “Gossip Girl,” among other productions.
The plot follows two best friends, Beth (Leighton Meester) and Kate (Christina Wolfe) on a weekend-long vacation in Croatia, trying to relive their misspent youth. While Kate is characterized as a recently divorced and carefree extrovert, Beth is painted as a worn-out new mother, reserved and careful.
Shockingly, in the first few seconds of the movie, the audience receives a glimpse into Kate’s future: her body floating in the water. The movie then reverts to the past, portraying the events that occurred leading up to her death. Beth, initially unaware of Kate’s death, wakes up one morning to an empty bed and begins to worry about her friend’s whereabouts. The remainder of the story follows Beth as she attempts to uncover the mystery of who killed Kate, meeting friends and foes along the way.
Although the storyline of “The Weekend Away” seems generic, Meester plays her character so realistically that the audience can feel the pain and stress Beth experiences as both a mother far from her child and a woman who just lost her best friend. This movie also brings attention to the idea of trust. Beth, who trusts people easily, struggles with determining who is on her side, including her now-dead best friend. The more she uncovers the murder, the more she realizes that she did not really know her friend, her husband and everyone else around her. Furthermore, this movie brings back epic plot twists, with bizarre yet entertaining outcomes.
Admittedly, you will find multiple plot holes in the murder mystery, and this may or may not bother you, depending on how seriously you take this genre. Also, a major flaw of the story would be the portrayal of almost all men (except for the foreign, colored man) as villains, and all the women as victims or saviors were slightly unsettling. Especially since Kate was not entirely innocent but was not given a shred of responsibility. The message this sends can be interpreted by the audience as “all white men are bad,” which can be very misguiding and almost anti-feminist. Regardless, if you watch this movie, simply be aware and not internalize the message. Enjoy it for the whodunit plot.
Therefore, I strongly recommend watching this movie. For the first time in a very long time, Netflix has released a movie that had me invested for every minute. Even though the movie is not perfect, it certainly entertains for 90 minutes and will have you at the edge of your seat wondering “Who killed Kate?”