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Review: Frantz


The Good: Strong, unyielding performances were to be enjoyed by all – especially the ladies, and even more particular, Cyrielle Claire who graces our screens for mere minutes but still manages to demand our admiration all the same. The cinematography, in parts, is tremendous, with beautiful, natural backdrops and framing worthy of a master. The film starts off strong and with great promise; endless possibilities are spread before us, my expectations are rising, my excitement bubbling.

The Bad: The chosen music, albeit… atmospheric, is wholly unjust to the paired scenes, managing nothing more than to yank me right out of the fable’s truth and set my mentality on murder-mystery film noir — which ‘Frantz’ is not. On top of that, the pacing is all over the place. With the narrative circling itself around symbolic details and rushing past what needed to be a solid foundation for the supposed plot twists, we are being left with a hammered in, fatigued story, screaming out implausibility and limp emotive manhandling.

The Ugly: Somewhere in there, the potential for two really good movies withers away; two good movies we’ll never get to see. Instead, we get a discordant approach towards presenting the expected in an unexpected way, with the pursuit focused on a subtly clever and stylish roundup where it should be driving to adequately relate and resonate with the viewer on a sentimental level.

My disappointment: Loss, sorrow, nostalgia, pain, grief, loneliness… I understand the need to develop a thematic tight bound that aims to impress; it’s the ever-present creative strive for ‘more’, always there, always scratching away at the confines of any artist’s imagination. But these are topics that don’t always need to be brushed clean with refinement.

Borrowing and reapplying the words of T S Eliot, sometimes one’s world ends “not with a bang but a whimper”.

And that’s okay.


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