The Wanting Mare
In the world of ANMAERE, north of the city of Whithren, wild horses run through the moorlands and up the coast.
These horses are the city’s most valuable export. They are are hunted and trapped, shipped and sold across the sea once a year.
In a small house just north of the city, a line of women pass a single dream through the generations. They inherit it from mother to daughter; a memory of a time where magic and myth were alive in the world.
This stunningly gorgeous sci-fi film has so much potential. What drags it down is the amount of information we’re missing. A lot of the backstory is buried inside writer/director Nicholas Ashe Bateman’s mind. It’s juicy, no doubt. Uniquely told. It would be glorious as a stage play. There’s enough intrigue in The Wanting Mare to indeed sustain a series of films, as is the intention. The audience has to commit themselves to what they are given. It’s a lot of trust to put in the viewer. What is abundantly clear is that there is a cyclical nature to the female characters and that these elusive tickets put a target on your back. This script is filled with people lying to each other, either to protect someone or keep them from leaving. It’s an interesting concept. The horses are treated similarly to unicorns in Legend. A commodity, yes, but also they must be protected at all costs.
Performances, across the board, are excellent. While there are a lot of characters to track, there is not a single actor who lets you down. Each beat is curated. This cast left it all on the screen. I want to know how these characters got here. What was it like in the constantly referenced “Before?” Frankly, I’m dying for a prequel. I think you need it. Having sat o the film for a day or two now, I think it would only benefit a potential Amnaere franchise. Visually, you are immersed in this mysterious land. Would I continue to watch films made in this universe? Yes. Do I think a general audience will stick with an entire series? That remains to be seen. The one thing I do know for sure, The Wanting Mare is breathtaking to look at. People will be talking about this film in one way or another.
Nicholas Ashe Bateman’s THE WANTING MARE, which opens in select cinemas and on video-on-demand Friday, February 5th, from Gravitas Ventures.
Written & Directed by: Nicholas Ashe Bateman
Director of Photography: David A. Ross
Production Design: Cassandra Louise Baker
Gaffer: Z. Scott Schaefer
Art Direction: Duncan Bindbeutel