PLANETARIUM is a film that is broad, at several levels. First by its staging, elegant, crossing beautiful ideas. Then, in its artistic ambitions compared to the previous films of the French director. Locating his plot in the France of 30 years, Rebecca Zlotowski rubs the period film and all that this time jump involves : replenishment, costumes… And, finally, ample for its abundance theme, which is both its strength and its weakness. Because too many accumulate, the PLANETARIUM has trouble maintaining interest to all floors.

The political aspect that emerges a few times is never really exploited, except in the last line right where the scenario uses the historical context to the successful conclusion of his story. A shame, because the rise of fascism and the emergence of anti-semitism would have been able to create a backdrop that is threatening, such as shadows evil waiting for the right moment to interfere and wreak havoc. Instead, the film remains very timid, hiding for a long time this item, to such a point that the viewer forgets that it would be one of the components of the story. At a reception, at a turn in the dialogue, one of the characters evokes Mussolini. This scene could have been the starting point for the penetrating of a threat ideological-political in the story. It is nothing, because after the implant story, all of this is abandoned to reappear in the last act. It is a feeling of too-full-of-mess, which is characterized by intermittent the film. As if Rebecca Zlotowski had a ton of intentions but did not have a final product at the height of his ambitions. Hard to blame a young director, after the French cinema which’s more, to demonstrate ambitions. On the contrary, the approach is beneficial. But between intention and execution, there is a world.

Where the film is more interesting is when he talks about cinema and its power. PLANETARIUM is in fact a manifesto on the beauty of the 7th art, a sort of project meta, which demonstrates that the images have a force. We feel all the sincerity and love in Rebecca Zlotowski in everything that it said on his part The character of Korben becomes his spokesman and what it tells us about the ambition of the French production resonates with the present time, when what is produced in our region often seems devoid of artistic ambitions. Of course, if it transpires sincerity, the speech does not escape a form of naivety – moreover, touching. PLANETARIUM is never as exciting as when he tries to identify what makes up the magical alchemy of the cinema. The camera becomes a magical object to see ghosts or capture, if only a fraction of a second, a supernatural event.

“The film would have gained in power of evocation, purifying its contents.”

The most beautiful scene in the film occurs when Korben shows to his team and the results of its trials filmed in the company of the young medium. While he welcomes the fact that it was printed on the film, a member of the production he replied that the image is under exposed and that special effects would have been more convincing. In one scene, Zlotowski condenses his speech : it is possible to see a we-don’t-know-what’s magic, if you know how to look at an image as it should be. The fate of a film and its comprehension, therefore, depends on the individual who looks at it. Is it able to decode what he sees ? A disagreement is quickly arrived and we could cite a bunch of feature films on which it has been able to make false judgments. In this sense, we can say that the PLANETARIUM allows you to question the film and our relation to him. For it is evolving, it is our duty to get to understand in which direction the changes may be beneficial. Any lover of cinema should be to recognize in the speech of the director of 36 years. A pity that this theme is lost at times in a on-more layers of story (why establish a triangular relationship with the two sisters and Korben ?), without doubt the film would have gained in power of evocation, purifying its contents.As it would have gained in emotion. The relationship between the two sisters (Natalie Portman magnetic, Lily-Rose Depp, the less convincing) evaporates in the second part and it is necessary to wait the last minutes for the emotion the tip of its nose. [SPOILERS] Via a flashback, Laura remembers a moment of happiness in the company of Kate. Again, it is through the magic of cinema, this little moment of grace is possible. This time jump allowed by the mounting need to come back an soul disappeared – the cinema as a medium to summon the dead. This sadness contrasts with the last scene, where Laura has found a role in a new movie. His character is in front of a starry night, reconstituted in the studio and she finds the film a “tomorrow will be a beautiful day“. A final note of hope, to tell us that in the darkest moments of humanity, the film will always be there to maintain a bit of light on.

Maxime Bedini

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