In an Argentina still steeped in the trauma of ” the 500 babies stolen “, and while in Latin America some women are sentenced to 20 years in prison for a miscarriage, the topic of motherhood is burning. Malena wants to become a mother, more than a desire frustrated is a compelling need, obsessive, vain perhaps. And his desperate quest is sometimes masterful, sometimes in half-tint.
A black cat, the tears, the bad times, many bad omens for the heroine who stands in front of a panel showing two possible paths. It is framed through the glass of his car as soon as it appears, the first occurrence of this gimmick that punctuates the film. It exists through plants, behind a window, a door or bars. The framework is often narrowed, sharp on one edge. And she is constantly locked up, and sometimes when a passage is reserved without obstacle, it is only sublimated by a Bárbara Lennie exceptional. In anticipation of the release, she can’t breathe because nothing exists yet in practice. The only one that sees his name valued, this is Marcela, she has the unique form of power since she is the one who brings life. Pedro, the baby, is suffering from the lie of a false name upon his arrival in the world ; the Male is called only by its function of “doctora” two-thirds of the time, and even his cat is called “Cat” – without yet being a tribute to Holly Golightly. The identity has little place.
The thriller works because it is unpredictable on the mode of operation, everything will go wrong, the question is to know which side the problems will arise. The pace is surprising, then, that it reverses the speed. The major events take place in the space of a second, by proxy, by telephone, by impulse. The camera follows them with calm and gets even more panicked when appear grasshoppers hitchcockiennes or a police control. However in parallel, the exposure time of solitude, or the still shots on landscapes stretch on for several minutes, both contemplative and helpless.
The dichotomy of the colors, it screams to the interpretation, between a green medical and flashy orange deep warm -which sometimes share the space of the picture without any form of gradient. The tones of green are the lights of the hospital, the rain, the offices when the red is on the faces, we walk to these seconds shades in which surrounds the faces, but also to the body of the child. Rays are sometimes even dazzling, childbirth, or when a decision needs to do a serious u-turn. The light is everywhere and not only for light, it is also omnipresent, do not allow any danger to remain in the dark.This adoption, it is a foray into the “mafia”. It is tainted with illegality, of misery, of falsehood, of lack of love, frozen in the last image given of the home. The bad decisions hanging over the whole, each doing unintentionally or not, the most harm possible to the other. The sore develops insidiously, is abyss a car, it insinuates the blame. Everything cries out to the heroine that she must stop the procedure but they all know that she will do anything to continue it, then all of them are pressure. No character emerges in the vice, between a husband loose, corrupt doctors, a family profiteuse. Malena on its side seems to make all the worst choices, but the climate is so abusive around it that other issues appear difficult to envisage. And for good reason, Diego Lerman points out intelligently that all of his protagonists are faced with a personal tragedy or social inequalities terrible, making it difficult to condemn their acts in this system if faulty, where the rich and the poor are shaken.
For Malena, it is the baby of the last chance, everything that hangs on to life. It will be his rebirth or will not, even to adopt it by instinct of survival. But the moment she enters the sad clinic, an avatar of nurse Ratched, this new-born promised him so much happiness as that of Ellen Ripley. And when joy there is in spite of everything, it is blurred in the background behind the tears of the surrogate. Two dialogues between mothers, biological and adoptive, who are snapping up the status of mother are also moments of grace, of a vehemence startling. In beautiful natural scenery or parts dingy, the characters speak little but always intensely, vibrating. All the rage is contained.
But to force them to non-expressed, there is little left to say in this density fundamental that gives the impression of being under-exploited. And if one understands that the director wants to say a lot with a little, the use of the restraint is less effective than in Refugiado , or Tan to repent. The scenes create a hell that holds in suspense, but the frustration grows as the major stages of spin without having the time to dwell on all these topics straight. The blackmail is in three sentences, the arrest in thirty seconds, the climax in three minutes, and well, again, the subtlety is welcome, the heart was not tightened as much as it could be.
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• Realization : Diego Lerman
• Screenplay : Diego Lerman, Maria Meira
• Main actors : Bárbara Lennie, Daniel Aráoz, Claudio Tolcachir
• Release Date : April 18, 2018
• Duration : 1h35min