Recensione: Between Us
- La regista ucraina Solomiia Tomashcuk racconta la storia di una strana e tragica amicizia tra due donne, in un degno esordio che trasmette un messaggio universale al pubblico europeo
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Sasha (Anastasia Pustovit) is a party girl who snorts cocaine, has sex with her tattoo artist and crawls into her closet at night owing to panic attacks. She has a faithful husband, Zahar, who manages to extricate her from all of her troubles. One day, she finds out that she is pregnant, but she’s afraid to tell her husband because she does not know who the father is. At the clinic, she meets Anya (Irma Vitovskaya), a 50-year-old gynaecologist with marital problems of her own. Her husband, Pasha, is not faithful to her, and he works right there in the clinic; in addition, her son Igor seems to have developed a fascination for the radical right-wing movement. After Sasha has an abortion, a strange friendship develops between her and Anya, which leads to tragic consequences.
Solomiia Tomashcuk is not yet well known in Ukraine as a film director, but before making Between Us [+leggi anche:
intervista: Solomiia Tomashcuk
scheda film], which has been premiered at the Hamburg Film Festival, as part of the Molodist competition, she founded a theatre in Lviv. She wrote the script for her full-length debut together with her husband, Yuriy Dunay. As a fan of thrillers and horrors, she also brought her own vision to the original script, inspired by David Fincher's Gone Girl.
Her film is about lies and what they can do to us. It is impossible to say unequivocally which of the heroines projects a positive image, as they both harbour secrets, and they are both concerned with ensuring their own comfort, first and foremost. An impeccable hero can be found in the character of Zahar, who is also a veteran of the war, the echoes of which the audience can see in the film. Sasha accuses Zahar of going off to war and abandoning her, which caused her to have a breakdown. As the plot unfolds, the fact that Sasha had a very difficult childhood with a cruel mother comes through, and this is a factor that causes her to look for a mother figure in Anya.
Both of the lead actresses play their roles brilliantly, although sometimes this is not enough to enable us to understand the motives underpinning the actions of the heroines. However, the intricate plot of this thriller is definitely worthy of praise.
The film is roughly edited and has an abrupt ending that has the effect of plunging the viewer into cold water. There is an iciness that courses through the relationship between the characters, and even the general mood of the movie. Although the picture sometimes resembles a TV series in terms of its story and its pacing, it is still a very worthy debut that can convey a universal message to a European audience. It is about a drama involving specific people, which could equally have happened in Ukraine before the war.
Between Us was produced by Ukraine’s Up Ua Studio.
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