Azura Sky has a face and a voice of a character actor. You may not know her name, but you will see her face and recognize any number of characters that she has played over the years. I remember her all the way back to Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the 90s. She has voiced characters on American Dad and appeared in films like Bandits and shows like American Horror Story. After watching The Swerve, you will have a whole new reason to remember Azura Skye and by her real name, not the character she plays.
Holly is Not Alright
Skye plays Holly in the film—a mother, sister, daughter, employee, and friend. She is the one that takes care of everyone and everything. Holly is that one woman who everyone looks to for care and support. We all know her. We all have a Holly in our life. No one ever asks if she is okay. And, Holly is not okay at all. She is depressed about her life and can’t sleep. The pills only make her do things in near blackout mode. At one point, Holly thinks she may have run a car off the road. Yes, Holly is actively cracking up, but no one notices because she still goes to work, cooks breakfast, fluffs pillows, and bakes the pies for the weekly family dinner.
Meanwhile, her indifferent husband and flakey sister are in cahoots, her son is being a typical selfish teenaged boy and her parents are perpetuating the same childhood toxicity that made Holly the fragile, anxious soul that she has tried to hide all these years. We quickly see that Holly is that wife who denies herself to make room for the needs of others. Her needs are pushed down to the bottom of the priority list, no matter how urgent they are. That becomes a problem when the loved one takes advantage and doesn’t realize the damage they are doing to the woman they always took for granted. Insomnia has broken her well-fashioned walls around the damaged parts of herself. That part is starting to seep out onto the rest of life.
Then, there is the mouse. It is taunting Holly, even gets bold enough to bite the woman! She fixates on it, as the mouse is a symbol of all the dirty toxic things that she wants to be rid of, but can’t. The fact that she tries and failed to catch the mouse over and over increases the anxiety and that pushed insomnia to its edge. When Holly finally snaps, she is taking down everyone in her path whether she wants to or not.
Skye’s Gem in The Swerve
The Swerve has a strong message about the women who cook, clean, and create a carefree world for everyone. She has limits and a need for gratification just like everyone else. Although she is quiet and never speaks up about herself, somebody needs to make sure sis is okay. All that anger, regret, and aggression that she keeps packing away will one escape and come for us all. All of this is portrayed in a very palpable manner by the leading actress.
Skye brings weight to the film that is undeniably necessary for this character. It’s also progressive. You can see the burden of all the things Holly has denied herself through Skye’s facial expressions, her posture, and even her voice. They all become bloated with the burdens that Holly has to bear as the film moves along. Ultimately, Skye’s depiction leaves us with a portrait of a woman who wore her mental illness like a girdle on a pregnant belly–It’s bursting at the seams and about to break, but the wearer isn’t taking time to open the catches to allow more room to hold everything in. Holly never tends to her own needs, which leads to horrific ends. Her story taps a universal problem for women that, hopefully, we heed.
The Swerve is available on VOD and streaming services.
Rating 4.5 of 5
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