As any Potterhead who respects himself, cannot speak of this COLONIA without addressing the presence ofEmma Watson headlining. Because the actress has become, thanks to the license Harry Potter, one of the representatives of the most important of the generation Y (born between the early 80’s and the mid 90’s), that Watson operates fully in some films such as The Bling Ring, or that she uses, personally or through artistic projects, to pass messages and defend causes. Feminist, cultural, or humanitarian.
It is this confidence in his choices and our commitment to his will, which prompted us to discover this COLONIA. A film which, failing to convince us, we were able to interest us in a period of History that we know of evil.
1970: Salvador Allende is elected president of Chile.
He then puts in place a socialist regime (= communism in a Cold War context), which should prove little thriving, but pacifist; a regime, incidentally, in favour of the expropriation of large american companies exploiting the wealth first in the country, copper. As it is a lot when even the U. S. A. will unofficially in a coup on September 11, 1973, overthrow of the president Allende, to be replaced by general Pinochet. A sudden double-edged sword because Pinochet will be put in place immediately a military dictatorship, censoring any dissent and did not hesitate to torture and/or dismiss the opponents of the regime. A dictatorship, whose violence was quickly recognised on the international scene, but whose economic policy maintained the Chile into the world economy before we run, after a great period of recession, the growth of the country.
COLONIA, then observes the political environment of a point of view device but rich in underlying information, by locating its action in the Colonia Dignidad. If the official mission of this place, founded in 1961 by expatriate germans is the home and the healing of “lost souls”, it will prove to be, under Pinochet, a sort of religious sect in autarky lined a factory that makes weapons for the military junta, as well as a place of torture for the opponents of the regime. Its head, Paul Schäfer. A character is described and suggested in the film, as a schizophrenic, manipulator and pedophile (and interpreted accordingly by a Michael Nyqvist highly cabotin). Although this is never explicitly stated in the film, Schäfer was – according to wiki – a soldier SS in exile in Chile; a playback track, quite exciting, not only from a psychological point of view and behavioral (Schäfer shapes with the Colonia Dignidad, his little Third Reich staff, with this account of the right to life, death, and exploitation of all kinds of the other), but also politically speaking, since this is a testimony of diplomatic relations and economic between Chile and Germany, which, in the same way as Austria or the United Kingdom, is the main supplier of weapons to the dictatorship of Pinochet.
Daniel, the character (fictional) played by Daniel Brühl, is a journalist and photographer participating in its scale protests pro-Allende / anti-Pinochet. Spotted by the DINA (the militia of Pinochet), he will be tortured and then made a prisoner in Colonia Dignidad. The film will be the journey of his “love” Lena (Emma Watson), to find him, free him from his captivity, and so make public the infringements of the rights and freedoms of Man carried out by the Pinochet dictatorship through the establishment of Schäfer.
HOWEVER, it only takes 5 minutes to COLONIA to reduce to nil its exciting substance while destroying all of our expectations. Involved, the first meeting Daniel Brühl / Emma Watson. A moment in weightlessness , where time seems to suddenly stop, so that the two lovebirds can split a crowd in full Revolución and give this kind of kiss of fairy tale that you only see in the movies, with a sun and twilight in the background, as the camera revolves around actors and orchestral music. A moment of unbearable vapidity immediately supplemented by a version of romance, which consists of common places (compliments physical, pelotages on a background of jazz, sensuous compliments morning, chases-tickling, compliments, art, etc) and supposed to make us believe in theMad Love between these two.
There are without a doubt a little bit of bad faith in this description, but those first few minutes ask all the same bases that will serve as a model for all the scenes of the film: COLONIA, built his scenery, his adventures, his characters, and the interactions between them, on a repeated use of the “cliché”, thus making it more cinégéniques that realistic.
“We would have quickly forgotten Colonia if this was Emma Watson and his will… “
The real problem is that this generates an exponential loss of credibility. If we don’t believe in their love story, we can’t feel empathy for the motivations of Lena to find her man. The trials that they go through every two (enslavement and torture anyway) we seem to be trivial, and the double-game that is necessary for their survival all the more ridiculous that seems to us unnecessary. As for the antagonists of the film (the military junta of Pinochet, Colonia Dignidad, Schäfer), they are also defined by the clichés of film as well as a certain manichaeism. If their credibility is already struggling, they do not represent a danger for the (non-existent) relationship, Lena/Daniel, even as the reverse is also true. Too many clichés, not of credibility. No credibility, no empathy. No empathy, no suspense, no intensity, no emotional investment, not entertainment, and the bitter feeling of a huge piss-take.
While the intentions of COLONIA appear to be genuine, the realization and the writing is too serious to make the film opportunistic bartering of any reflection towards the real-life context in which the action takes place, for an assembly without flavor symbols already seen everywhere else. Unfortunately this affects the representation of the real : how does the film convince us of the seriousness of this period if he fails to make it palpable ?
The duty of memory, the cause, the point of view committed, an account of the state of the world… All of this fades away in this operating without any intelligence of the “seal of reality” unable to find a resonance in the fates of the protagonists. It is ultra-damage.
Fortunately for COLONIA , or unfortunately for her, there’s Emma Watson.
If we confess to routinely succumb to his charm, and he must recognize his total investment in his character (yet written to the trowel), it’s more that his presence affects our objectivity through the intervention of a certain capital of sympathy absolutely independent of our perception of the film. It is precisely this that makes us speak more than a normal movie cinema missed as a COLONIA. Emma Watson, failing to erase the image of “Hermione” as a “Jack” DiCaprio in Scorsese, became, perhaps in spite of itself, a fantastic gateway to a part of the History is relatively forgotten. It is already that.
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