Some men may hate this artistic, visionary, and brilliantly original feminine fantasy -- so be sure to read critical reviews with that in mind. In a world in which one in three women will experience sexual assault, writer-director-producer Karen Cinorre invents a catharsis to allow women with that tragic shared experience to feel seen and vindicated. Not that Mayday's action or dialogue ever spell out that the women's trauma is sexual assault -- and it's possible that it might not be. That's for you, the viewer, to determine. We're given enough clues to know that something very, very bad happened to each of them, something that felt like too much to bear. But the lack of more concrete information could leave audiences, including teens, confused. And the film's narrative is uncomfortably discombobulated, much like a dream.
Cinorre plunges viewers into an alternate reality (literally -- we get to the women's "fantasy island" through an ocean portal). Once there, the world is a much brighter place, with beautiful scenery, close friendships, and hours to relax in the bay's healing waters. It's Neverland, and these are the Lost Girls, finding their way back to themselves. Ana and her female companions express comfort and friendship like teen girls do: snuggling, sharing beds, and having private midnight talks. Eventually, we discover that they are modern-day sirens, using naval distress calls to lure in male "rescuers." Kudos to Cinorre for exploring the mythology of sirens from their perspective, using ancient Greek myths as the foundation to tell the more modern-day story. The subject matter is mature, but the former victims are no longer fragile: They're fierce, literally fighting a battle of the sexes. Mayday isn't going to be for everyone, but for those who get it, it's a revelation.