Maidentrip Screen 6 articles

Maidentrip

2013

Maidentrip Poster
  • Director Jillian Schlesinger doesn't try to editorialize, presenting Dekker as the intrepid prodigy she clearly believes herself to be, and downplays any danger or controversy Dekker encountered during her mission (such as the Dutch authorities' efforts to forestall her journey). At best this functions as a pleasant aquatic travelogue; at worst it validates a teenage girl's egotism.

  • Though certainly inspirational, the film could hardly be called probing: The range of emotions exhibited by Dekker... ranges from mildly introspective to utterly euphoric, the one exception being her annoyance with a nosy reporter. Were there no moments of nagging self-doubt or close calls worth recounting in any significant detail? Schlesinger seems in such a rush to guide us to the end unscathed that she sometimes loses sight of the small details that make this journey unique.

  • With little to vary the onboard visuals — you can’t hold a camera while battling winds or adjusting rigging — the extreme dangers and demands of the trip remain frustratingly invisible. Watching Laura eat and gaze at “super awesome” waves is far from riveting, and glimpses of her exotic stopovers are much too brief to engage. Viewed as an unconventional portrait of maturing adolescence, however,“ Maidentrip” works, presenting isolation as a calmative to the squalls of puberty.

  • Maidentrip is not just the chronicle of a stunning feat, but a coming-of-age journey of self-realization, made immensely more involving by virtue of being seen through Laura's first-person perspective, experiencing personal revelations in the moment with the same emotional immediacy with which she herself makes them.

  • The real beauty of Maidentrip is how it downplays the go-for-glory aspect of the tale (this adolescent mariner’s aim is to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world) to focus on more earthly matters like the isolation and loneliness of the voyage or the lingering effects of the divorce that irrevocably shaped Dekker’s life. There’s plenty of triumph in this quest, but also an equally potent dose of coming-of-age melancholy.

  • The resulting documentary arrives in theaters almost four years after Dekker raised anchor from a port in Gibraltar, the world as we know it at her back, and the movie... absolutely embarrasses our expectations for it. Hardly the banal and self-satisfied portrait that we’ve been conditioned to expect from such obvious narratives of empowerment, “Maidentrip” is such a vitally different experience because the film resonates with its subject’s utter refusal to conform to what’s expected of it.