March 7, 2021

Criticism of “Ema”: Theory of the “millennial” ★★★★ ✩



Address: Pablo Larraín. Script: P. Larraín, Guillermo Calderón and Alejandro Moreno. Interpreters: Mariana Di Girolamo, Gael García Bernal. Chile, 2020. Duration: 102 minutes Drama.

Even free spirits have the right to be wrong. Ema wants to go back, but her impulses go forward. Hence, the complicated strategies he weaves to recover his adopted son, whom he returned in a selfish gesture, are the result of that harsh tension that Larraín takes to define from the narrative, focusing on the capture of the energy of a character (overwhelming Mariana di Girolamo) who seems to have as much need to express herself with her body as with words thrown as daggers. Through Ema and its relationship with the feminine, Larraín explores the expressiveness of the “millennial” generation in a fascinating reflection on reggeaton culture, polymorphic sexuality and vandalism performance, in this case in a pyromaniac key, to understand a vision of reality that, halfway between anarchy and moral responsibility, is not afraid to reinterpret universal themes and emotions, such as love or family, to propose new models of being in the world. In the implicit cruelty to Larrain’s skeptical but fascinated look there is a sense of humor, an empathy that is novel and refreshing in his filmography.

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