This is the Sebastian Silva film that I had originally booked and then got the recommendation to see The Maid. I really liked that one and I suspected that this wouldn’t be as good. It wasn’t, but he has won me over as a director and I’m now intrigued to see more of his films.
Alicia is a California girl joining her cousin Sarah for a break in Chile. With some Chilean and American friends they head south to a remote coastal location where they are surrounded by the mess and noise of nature. It becomes clear that Alicia is suffering from some kind of breakdown and the isolation, geographically and emotionally from those around her, means she quickly spirals into psychosis.
The clunkiness of this film for me was in the Americanisation of it. Three key characters are played by well known Hollywood actors and although it is surprising to hear Michael Cera speak seemingly fluently in Spanish, there was a gaucheness and self-consciousness in the delivery that kept intruding. I never felt the depth of any of the characters except perhaps Alicia, the focus of the story.
Stylistically the film is interesting and you are never quite sure where the story is going. I’m not sure that I completely understood the meaning of it or the significance of the title. I’ll have to keep thinking about that.
Bechdel test – pass