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ROTTERDAM 2019 Tiger Competition

Review: The Days to Come

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- Catalan Carlos Marqués-Marcet rounds off his trilogy about couples falling out of love with a film on the whirlwind experience of becoming parents

Review: The Days to Come
María Rodríguez and David Verdaguer in The Days to Come

The fourth feature by the Spanish director Carlos Marqués-Marcet, The Days to Come [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, was presented in world premiere as part of the Tiger Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. His latest film captures two new parents grappling with parenthood and documents the real-life pregnancy of the actress María Rodríguez (El ministerio del tiempo), with her current partner David Verdaguer (Verano 1993 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carla Simón
film profile
]
), and the birth of their daughter, Zoe. Although the film follows the physical changes of Rodríguez's body over the course of nine months, The Days to Come is not actually a documentary. It's a fiction feature about the lack of communication between human beings, acted out by an actor couple who are expecting an child off-screen, in real life. 

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The characters in this story, written by Clara Roquet (Petra [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jaime Rosales
film profile
]
), Coral Cruz (Dying [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fernando Franco
film profile
]
) and Marques-Marcet himself, are not meant to reflect the actors playing them. For starters, neither character is a professional actor, unlike their real-life counterparts. In his film, Verdaguer tells the story of a trainee lawyer called Lluís. While Rodríguez plays a journalist who goes by the name of Vir. The film begins with the unexpected news of Vir's pregnancy. The two 30-year-old enthusiasts decide to embark on the adventure of bringing a child into the world, ignoring the impending crisis of their romantic relationship and thus allowing it to crumble, bit by bit.

The Days to Come rounds off Marques-Marcet's trilogy about falling out of love and the dangers of living together, a theme initiated by the filmmaker in Long Distance [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlos Marques-Marcet
film profile
]
, and continued in Anchor and Hope [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlos Marques-Marcet
film profile
]
. This is the final instalment in a trilogy that shares more than just a common theme. The driving force behind all the three chapters is the filmmaker's actor muse, David Verdaguer. This third volume reiterates the narrative model used in the two previous film and describes the progression from initial euphoria to tragedy. An odyssey on the rise and fall of love that we are already familiar with thanks to the long-distance romantic suffering in Long Distance, and the protagonists’ emotional distance in Anchor and Hope, after the girlfriend gets pregnant.

Marqués-Marcet's characters don't fall into despair, despite the extreme situations they find themselves in. Despite a heaviness that weighs down on the couple day after day, suffocating the relationship, the film breathes a breath of fresh air every time Vir takes refuge in old video tapes of his birth. These are actual home video recordings of the actress's mother giving birth, which the director has included in his feature film to reflect the circle of life, once again blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality.

The Days to Come was produced by the Spanish companies Lastor Media, Avalon Producciones and Movistar +. Film Factory Entertainment is handling international sales.

(Translated from Spanish)

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