Review: No quiero perderte nunca
by Alfonso Rivera
- Alejo Levis uses spooky imagery and sound to beckon the viewer into the world of a woman grieving deeply
No quiero perderte nunca [+see also:
film profile] (lit. "I Never Want to Lose You") is the title of the second feature film by Alejo Levis after Todo parecía perfecto – muttered by a main character in an opening scene, the sentence takes on a deep meaning in the film, which centres around grief and whether or not we have the strength to accept it.
The film, scripted by Levis himself, focuses on a couple: Paula (Maria Ribera, due to hit our screens in Septemberin Distances [+see also:
interview: Elena Trapé
film profile] byElena Trapé, a film that recently triumphed at Malaga Film Festival) and Malena (Carla Torres), who move into Paula's family home, a large dark house in the countryside, filled with a lifetime of objects. One morning, Paula receives a call from the retirement home where her mother lives and suddenly, a whirlwind of memories, emotions, broken promises and contradictions take hold of her... and the viewer too.
The director does everything in his power to encourage the audience to empathise with the film's heroine, who refuses to accept the pain she feels and goes through various stages of mourning, from panic to denial. This is very well achieved through Ribera's committed performance and the director’s use of image (shot in natural light) and sound, with Nico Roig’s soundtrack accentuating the restless, disturbing and spooky setting of this risky, difficult and courageous film, while songs by Nuu, Santiago Latorre and Ensemble Topogràfic contribute to its dream-like atmosphere, right until it turns into a nightmare.
With passages that are evocative of the fantasy genre (there is somewhat of an iconographic parallelism with A Ghost Story by David Lowery), and others that recall films by Ingmar Bergman and Robert Altman, No quiero perderte nunca flitswith ease between lyricism and dementia, managing to create a feeling of extraneity, disorientation and claustrophobia that only eases up right at the end of the film, when, by reliving the best moments spent with her loved one, Paula learns to say goodbye.
No quiero perderte nunca was shot in the natural setting of the Empordà in Catalonia and was produced by Life & Pictures. It was screened in the Zonazine section at Malaga and at Barcelona Festival D'A. Begin Again Films will be handling the film’s Spanish distribution.
(Translated from Spanish)
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