CLOCK, now on Disney+, is an intriguing, albeit heavy-handed, deliberation on the societal pressures put on women to conceive a child, and the anxieties felt by every expectant mother.
Ella, played by Dianna Agron, is a successful businesswoman with a full and happy life. She is married to Aidan (Jay Ali), and the pair are madly in love.
The only thorn in Ella’s relatively perfect existence, according to everyone else, at least, is the fact she doesn’t have any children.
Ella does not want offspring. She explains early on that her biological clock just never really got started and is content with her lot.
But with time now running out, and her overbearing Jewish father Joseph (Saul Rubinek) putting increasing pressure on her to keep the family line alive, Ella decides to enrol in an experimental clinical trial to try and fix her seemingly broken biological clock.
Under the care of pioneering doctor Elizabeth Simmons (Melora Hardin), she must deal with the deep-seated fears, deemed to be at the root of her unnatural resistance to motherhood. The biological implications of Ella’s ‘condition’ ultimately lead to immense psychological difficulties, and she begins to lose all grasp on reality.
Ella is constantly told by her concerned father how she is the last in a long line of “strong women” who survived the Holocaust. Joseph is unduly keen for his daughter to give him a grandchild to pass their stories onto — putting even greater pressure on her, as she becomes haunted by angry old spirits from her bloodline.
Ultimately, this is the shove that tips her right out over the edge.
The childbearing metaphors are poured on thick and heavy, but director Alexis Jacknow delivers some tense and disturbing scenes in his debut feature. He manages to get inside our heads with the use of some rather ghastly body-horror that will linger in the memory long after the final credits.