Hasu the edge of a swimming pool in São Paulo, a woman presses a young boy going on the water, in return the child asks to accompany him in his aquatic games. Val (Regina Fitted) is obstructed, she is struggling to explain to the young Fahbino she can’t, without telling him openly that she has no right.
Val is a woman of household among the rich parents of Fahbino, and some pleasures seem to be prohibited by a system of implicit rules. Swimming in the crystal-clear waters that Val can not touch, the little Fahbino looks at her with an unconditional love. Val makes him a hundredfold his affection, to the point of embodying the maternal instinct, when she receives a phone call from a parent stayed in her home town. Anxiously, she asked news of her daughter, with whom she has not seen for several years. This last refuses to talk to him.
From the first images, the film installs this scene-miniature, which will serve as a model for the rest of the story to unfold around this “second mother.” The great strength of the film by Anna Muylaert is a resident in a scenario that moves forward, first, freely, before taking the detail to the central theme : how to be a mother without being present ?
The coherence of the subject, combined with a sense of natural leads the viewer to be more pleased with the outcome seemingly simple, but emotionally intense.
Ten years after this introduction, Val always takes care of the house : housekeeping, meals, and ear attentive to the “problems” of rich people who employ it. His surprise was total when his daughter arrives to spend a few days in order to prepare for an entrance exam at a university-very difficult to access.
Val has no housing in it, and must be content with a maid’s room at her employers. Forced to live with Val and her bosses, the young, Jessica (Camila Márdila), curious and rebellious, will plunge his mother into trouble, and to upset the rules of decorum that the bourgeois family is believed to be unchanging. The director brazilian Anna Muylaert then arrives to the time to draw a portrait of the social inequalities of his country, while keeping a watchful eye of a mother on her child, and the difficulties of communication between these two generations.
The relationship of Jessica with Val happens to be the mirror of that between Fahbino became a teenager with raging hormones (Michel Joelsas), and his own mother, often absent because of his work. The poster of the film featuring Val hemming Fahbino child perfectly captures the paradox of a mother who cannot be present to raise her child, and of the relations of substitution that follow it.
“The complex relationships between all the characters help to avoid to Anna Muylaert sign a film activist and gives his work a universal scope.”
By transgressing the prohibitions related to his or her class, Jessica was putting a system that is unequal and archaic. However, the conflictual relationship between Fahbino and his mother said that the major problem of Val with her daughter Jessica is not a question of social class, and is found at all levels of brazilian society, summed up by the microcosm of the house. The complex relationships between all the characters help to avoid to Anna Muylaert sign a film activist, and gave his work a universal scope.
The other advantage ofA SECOND MOTHER is undeniably the direction of the actors. Far from the clichés that one would expect a situation as contrasting (rich and poor in a closed-door, teenager in heat in the face of a young liberated woman, etc), the actors manage to give their characters several levels that we discover in the bend of an intonation or a gesture funny.
The performance of Regina found a spot that interprets Val is amazing and contributes greatly to the immense sympathy that one feels for her character. The objects she grabs like the looks that she throws reflect a lively intelligence trapped in a straitjacket, mental and social. The scenario as the realization allow us to observe the relationship between the characters through objects (a set of coffee) or spaces (kitchen / dining room).
The bias stage d’Anna Muylaert was therefore insist on situations of everyday life filmed in a very few wide shots, in order to allow the players the greatest freedom of expression and to give the viewer time to grasp all the wealth. Without straying into theatricality, and without that you will never get bored, the device of the director, a brazilian may disturb some viewers accustomed to a more sustained pace of the editing.
A modestly filmmaker stands at a distance from his characters, without any value judgment on their behavior, but the performance of the actors makes it all accessible.
Based almost entirely in the microcosm of the bourgeois house of the employers of Val, the film succeeds in drawing in hollow the portrait of modern Brazil, calling for an end to the social stigma of his country to heal the wounds of the families who have suffered. A SECOND MOTHER shows up with mischief that sometimes the healing can be joyful.
The other outputs of the 24 June 2015
• Original title : As Horas ela Volta?
• Realization : Anna Muylaert
• Scenario : Anna Muylaert
• Main actors : Regina found a spot, Camila Márdila, Karine Teles, Lourenço Mutarelli, Michel Joelsas
• Country of origin : Brazil
• Released : June 24, 2015
• Duration : 1h54min
• Distributor : Memento Films Distribution
• Synopsis : Val, the housekeeper in a rich family in São Paulo, is home to a few days, her daughter Jessica, whom she hasn’t seen for 10 years, so that it can pass an entrance exam to the university. The young woman is going to destabilize the implicit order of the bourgeois house.