review of the film with Jessica Chastain

TO Michelle Franco he doesn’t like banal topics: he said at a press conference ahead of the premiere of his new film Memory V80th Venice Film FestivalFor him, cinema should not be just entertainment, it really strives to put the viewer in front of uncomfortable situations that push him to cope with trauma and fears.

Two years later Sunsetalways attended competitions in the lagoon, and this time too underlying existential crisis. Sylvia (always trustworthy Jessica Chastain) is a mother who wanders through life, dragging the traumas of her past with her like ballast. Sober for 13 years, she is a mother who is a constant presence in her daughter’s life and works at a day center for adults with mental illness. The doors to her past open again when Saul follows her into the house (Peter Sarsgaard), who he fears has bad intentions until he discovers that he actually does man suffers from dementia and he doesn’t even remember how he got there.

Complicating matters, however, is the fact that Sylvia sees him as one of the possible bad guys of the episode that marked and perhaps forever destroyed her as a child. A complex relationship is established between them: their differences represent an initial obstacle to mutual empathy, but over time it is the ability to see each other as people divorced from their past that brings them together in an unexpected way. He doesn’t remember, she just wants to forget: two different views on the topic of memory that become central to Michel Franco’s drama.

Compared to the latest titles of his works of fiction, this New order (Grand Jury Prize in Venice 77) and the above Sunsetwhen Memory the news is that a form of rescue seems possible for the characters, about overcoming one’s own traumas and the rebirth that is usually denied to its protagonists, depicted in the midst of their own crisis and with no way out. Type Almost friends in a manner that is both romantic and extremely cynicalwhich sometimes loses its effectiveness, but never loses its interest and psychological nuances.

What Franco does best, what represents the strength of his directorial vision and what makes him especially notable, is the way he handles the rawest and most dramatic aspects of his stories: be it physical or verbal, violence is always depicted from a certain distance, with a certain alienating coldness. by shooting mode, not by intensity. IN New order this was the case with the killings that occurred during the armed uprising in Mexico City, while in Sunset a certain narcotization of violence was a characteristic feature of the main character played Tim Roth.

WITH MemoryFrank leaves aside graphic horror depictions Focus on past, present and future fears. The pivotal scene, in which Jessica Chastain releases all the dramatic weight pent up until that point, fits perfectly with the artistic sensibility of the director, who is not interested in making the viewer comfortable, but instead seeks to stimulate them.

Less dark, even sweet in its romantic tragedy., Memory it is the story of two lives, unable or unwilling to live up to expectations and lost in the web of society. An approach that opens up new prospects for the director’s future career, one of the most interesting author’s perspectives of these years.


Photo: Theorem


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