The Eagle’s Cry Reviews: I Believe in Unicorns


Sarah Watson, Reporter

This film begins with Davin, played by Natalia Dyer, who is most known for her role as Nancy Wheeler in Stranger Things, who has her eyes on Sterling (Peter Vack) the bad boy. This marks the beginning of her first rocky relationship.

I Believe In Unicorns is in sync with how it feels for a teen to have her first intense, quasi-mature relationship, despite not being perfect, and how it feels for her to use that romantic relationship as a means of escaping troubling issues at home. Having to take care of her disabled mother (played by the writer/director’s real mother) since her childhood, since her dad left them.

This movie is about a young woman clinging to childish, girly ideals while life reminds her she is practically an adult. Davin still believes in unicorns that frolic, dragons that breathe fire, and a princess much like herself.

She finds herself waiting for prince charming but instead a punk rock older boy comes in and casually “deflowers” her in the back of an underground music club. The next time they meet he seems indifferent about her and later apologizes and says he just gets like that sometimes.

As Sterling decides to take an open-ended trip toward “anywhere but here,” the heartbroken girl is overjoyed. But as their relationship progresses, Davina comes to see that Sterling has other undesirable traits aside from his mood swings.

As Davina and Sterling aimlessly drive around the back roads while their money steadily diminishes and their love gradually weaning, viewers who watched other movies with similar stories may be ready to expect the worst—or at least the most predictable—outcome. There are a few instances where the director seems prepared to impose a conventional doomed-lovers-on-the-run plot on her freeform situation, such as during a shoplifting incident, or an argument that becomes dangerously heated. However, it turns out that this isn’t that kind of a movie.

Director Leah Meyerhoff establishes the daydream-like quality of Davina’s point of view in the opening scenes. Also, accurately maintaining a subjective approach to reality with Lenser Jarin Blaschke’s artful variations of film stock, and purposefully childlike fantasies realized through Josh Mahan’s inspired stop-motion animation.

I highly recommend this movie for anyone who has had a rocky relationship in the past, as this movie doesn’t romanticize these types of relationships. It removes the rose colored lens of cinema and shows how a seemingly perfect relationship can have dark sides.