Film review with Franz Rogowski and Ben Whishaw

PALERMO – After finishing his latest project, director Thomas (Franz Rogowski) impulsively starts a relationship with teacher Agatha (Adele Exarchopoulos). For Thomas, the novelty of being with a woman is an exciting experience that he longs to explore despite his marriage to Martin (Ben Whishaw). When Martin begins an extramarital affair with writer Ahmad (Erwan Kepoa Fale), the chaotic Thomas turns his attention back to her husband. From this crossroads of feelings he begins Passages with a really good trio of aces: Rogowski, Wishaw and Exarchopoulos. In the film, directed and written with Mauricio Zacharias, Ira Sachs is once again confronted by men, relationship incompatibilities and the volatile complexity of love, four years after the amazing event. Frankie presented in competition at Cannes and never released in Italy (!), despite an incredible cast: Isabelle Huppert, Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei and Greg Kinnear.

Agatha and Thomas: Adele Exarchopoulos and Franz Rogowski in a still from the film.

Produced by SBS Distribution, which will also distribute to the French market, after being featured at Sundance and impressing at the Berlinale in the section Panorama, is now showing up in Italian cinemas thanks to an alliance between MUBI and Lucky Red. And if it’s true that the main attraction lies solely in the trio of champions formed by Rogowski + Exarchopoulos + Whishaw – an extraordinary and overflowing talent – strength Passages it’s in his fast-paced and intent storytelling, made up of transitions and transformations, relationships and people – emotions and impulses – and body choreography that traces chaos agent Thomas’s sentimental mis-education with destructive and violent creativity.

Martin and Thomas: Ben Whishaw and Rogowski at another point in the film.

Thomas would like to be the director of his partners and his life, between guilt and indecision, intertwining with them the game of relational toxicity of carnage, born by chance but nurtured by will. A clash between worlds and dimensions of character that flakes and confuses the identities, demands and needs of its interpreters, photographed by Sachs with a cold, aseptic director’s eye, always a step back from pure abstraction in witness to the passion and pain of Thomas, Martin, Agatha and, contrary to himself, Amad , are also attracted by the trio’s destructive orbit. And then there are the bodies. Passages, wild, cruel, passionate, consisting of vibes and orgasms, which Sachs never shows us in its entirety, but only in parts, defragmenting. Just like what they contain inside them.

Agatha and Thomas on the track.

Finally, a desire that gives and takes away, shifting the destinies of its interpreters between new beginnings and sudden breaks in an unprecedented mixture of Fassbinder-esque drama and brilliant New Wave exploration of feelings. Against the backdrop of a melting pop Paris, a crossroads of languages ​​and chaos, a witness to a textbook anti-love story, Sachs plays with the topoi of romantic cinema, with desperate runs to the climax, fleeting love affairs and situational confessions. effect to overturn its inertia. Thus, giving us vivid evidence of our changing and fluid times, where a happy ending is just one of many possibilities. An insightful, intimate and shamelessly sexy portrait, unintentionally funny on several occasions, destined to amaze and move audiences in a way that only great cinema can.

  • FRESH EXPLOSIVE | Passages, Sirk and Sicily Queer Film Festival
  • OPINIONS | Disco Boy, Franz Rogowski and love at first sight
  • VIDEO | You can watch the Passages trailer below:

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