On Fire review of the film with Amber Heard

Presented as a world premiere at the Taormina Film Festival. On fire is an Italian-American historical thriller directed by Conor Allyn and starring Amber Heard. Grace Victoria Burnham (Heard) is a German doctor from New York whose name hacienda, a Colombian estate, after receiving a request for help from a certain Isabella: her son could actually be sick or, as his fellow citizens believe, possessed by the devil. Starting with a mixture of spoken languages, the film alternates between South American Spanish, English, German, in some cases, and even a little Latin here and there: Jambalaya.

Ejected into mixed language context, devoid of introductory frameworks that might give us time to take in what we’re about to watch. We don’t even have time to empathize with the heroes, we don’t know where they came from, we don’t know where they want to go: blank board, like a game of table football: blue and red, no faces, no uniforms. Move your defense, move your attack, there are just over eighty minutes left in the film: we accept, even despite the sight of the statue of Christ hanging already at the beginning of the film, realizing that this is not a film with Amber Heard, but movie for Amber Heard.

On fire, in Mexico Sangriento

What we, at least, despite what we had already seen, hoped to see. Because behind the Spanish-Mexican tradition there are many horror films, from horror-westerns. Luz (2019), and Night of Blind Terror (1972), before Hole (2019). But if it’s true that to be scared you just have to… be scared.”Afraid. Be very afraid” We can’t do this, even in an empty room. Grace emerges from the train in Victorian clothing, skirt, corset, doctor’s bag, her narrative voice responding hopefully to an epistolary request: she seems for a moment to see the arrival of Jonathan Harker, the protagonist of Dracula, in the Carpathians.

Let’s at least hope that the child protagonist of this story can restore this vein in the film, even if, again, forced child and with powers Brood Cronenberg, Poltergeistup to the very last Orphan AND Stranger Things – this is nothing new. And instead he becomes different tragicomic trait On fire. Martin imagines himself as Tom Riddle. Wait, I’m sitting in bed”doctor’s arrival” Pale, haggard, with those phrases that vaguely sound like “I also talk to snakes, they find me, whisper something, is this normal? For someone like me? (By the way, did you know the latest theory about the Deathly Hallows?)

In short, they are trying to scare him in every possible way, even giving him… contact lenses of different colors. Even made him move things with his open hand, like Eleven. Bye Amber Heard cries and squirmsthrows himself under the carts, gets slapped by a child who prays in Latin like crazy, then hits the village, spits on the ground, screams series: “¡Bruh! Alejense! Callense… evil! witch, move away, be silent… evil one!” Even the plagues of the Exodus come: locusts, rotting animals and erupting volcanoes.

Julio Iglesias on horseback

Character of Don Marquez
Character of Don Marquez

This is clearly not the subject of this review, but to clarify… there are those too persons who were at Heard’s trial (which will happen approximately three months after filming ends). We weren’t scared, but laughter… that’s all. serieswhen the main character is discovered to have been betrayed by his cousin’s cousin who died 100 seasons ago… they are part of the narrative context as well as the historical structure On fire… you know this and accept the product as such.

However, then Don Marquez, the child’s father, appears. very noble man man of honor, i.e. master father in a white shirt, with a Julio Iglesias accent as he sang in Italian, a man who does not accept that Grace, a woman, can take care of his son: “How do you see this? I don’t want to let you disrespect me in my own home…you should be ashamed.” – “How dare you? I will not allow them to disrespect me in my home…you should be ashamed.” And how is everyone soapthen she succumbs to his charms, and he takes her away on horseback, like A Gaucho Vaquero – Colombian cowboy.

On fire: yes, I agree, but then…

Amber Heard in a scene from the movie On Fire
Amber Heard in a scene from On fire

Everything else… If you leave aside the laughter and fear, the matter becomes more serious. Because Hurd’s character would like raise the topic of feminism. She wants to do this for the sole reason that she is a woman doctor at the end of the 19th century: she is a woman doctor, a revolutionary theme, but under the pretext of doing her homework, she is under the thumb of everyone in the film. This is not enough. Now this is not enough, because, like a virus, the plague has changed, today it has only become more dormant, hidden in the body.

On fire then try to get in science/superstition theme, banish everything in between: legends, pseudo-psychophysical theories, so to speak, the ancestors of Lombroso’s theory and applications. Grace wants to convince the community that Martin is simply suffering from Savan syndrome, a disorder that combines autism and special abilities. And instead, he persistently tries to scare us.

And when On fire ends, again, we don’t understand whether we wanted it or not, the statue of Christ on the cross appears again, with a fixed gaze, on the credits. It’s like he wanted to come back like Ferris Bueller at the end of the movie: “But still here?Of course, Ferris-Christo, this film also needs to be re-watched.

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