The pitch : caregiver, David works with people who are terminally ill. Meticulous, efficient, and passionate about his craft, he builds relationships that go well beyond the medical framework and establishes a real intimacy with her patients. But in his private life, David is inefficient, awkward, and reserved. He needed his patients as much as they need him.
The film by Michel Franco is a built in bias :
– Trouble on the main character, immersion in the daily life;
– Sobriety hardcore of the mise-en-scene (plans fixed fixed plans);
– Show without a blush a few moments, very intimate (David washes the body sick, cleans up vomit and toilet humor).
In spite of everything, these biases are all a explanation relatively interesting during the film.
CHRONIC can be seen as a reflection on the concept of empathy; an explanation by default, to allow to pass the pill: “I give my character a pretty cloudy without success subsequently, to conclude this arc story”.
Like David, may be that Michel Franco ponders on the way to allow the viewer an immersion into “a story”. This would be achieved first by: to show by facts, and then by the identification, and finally in bringing the drama in the story. In the film, David observes from a distance this drama. We spectators, we are necessarily identified with David (thanks to the excellent Tim Roth)… which raises The question, therefore, our own relationship to the illness, bereavement, attachment and loss. And even if it works…
This reflection is plagued by the writing strange-the character of David. In the first part of the film, it can be perceived in different ways, the perverse and without conscience/morality, the altruistic … If it is stimulating because it is incumbent upon us to decode his personality as well as being part of the drama that was taking place under our eyes, we cannot find that a pity that Michel Franco does not develop most of this arc story. Specifically, the script explicit too clearly the actions of David, which tends to remove any feeling disturbing… It is both nice and a shame; It keeps up to the last scene, this feeling of appeasement: we remain relatively happy not to be made free of charge, attacked psychologically, as in a number of films about shock that we shit in the mouth without slip of PQ… But on the other hand, any discomfort disappears very quickly in favor of a bored and polished. To choose from…
“A film ‘shock’, but immersive and fairly challenging, that his last plan putassier transforms like balloons. Damage.”
Only thing ultimately memorable : the latest plan, absolutely useless and putassier.
Not only it breaks all the empathy created so far, but it does not find in addition, no justification story.
It seems, frankly, that the director had nothing more to say, and did not know how to conclude his film. This last plan CHRONIC is a total disappointment to even screw up all the efforts to integrate the viewer into the story; worse, to reconsider all that has been seen previously. You can’t explain this choice, but we encourage you, when you see the film, try to keep in mind that it is first of all a beautiful portrait of a man, complex, slightly disturbing, and ultimately touching.
CHRONIC has been presented in the official selection (in competition) at the Cannes film festival edition 2015
Why not a best performance award for Tim Roth.
THE OTHER OUTPUTS OF THE 21/10/15
• Original title : Chronic
• Realization : Michel Franco
• Screenplay : Michel Franco
• Main actors : Tim Roth, Bitsie Tulloch, Michael Cristofer
• Country of origin : Mexico
• Released : October 21, 2015
• Duration : 1h33min
• Distributor : Wild Bunch Distribution
• Synopsis : caregiver, David works with people who are terminally ill. Meticulous, efficient, and passionate about his craft, he builds relationships that go well beyond the medical framework and establishes a real intimacy with her patients. But in his private life, David is inefficient, awkward, and reserved. He needed his patients as much as they need him.