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‘A Fantastic Woman’ Could Have Been Paramount in Portraying a Transgender Woman’s Struggle

"A Fantastic Woman" fails to carry us along in its protagonist's tough journey from bereavement to isolation to confrontation to settlement. Marina can't wait to get out of it.

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Daniella Vega
'A fantastic Women' seems stretched out. Flickr
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Film: “A Fantastic Woman” (Spanish, with English Subtitles, based on a transgender woman); Director: Sebastian Lelio; Starring: Daniela Vega; Rating: 1/2 (2 and a half stars)

“A Fantastic Woman” could have been penetrating portrait of a transgender woman’s struggle for dignity after her middle-aged lover suddenly dies on her.

Marina (played with consummate sensitivity by Daniela Vega) never quite recovers from the traumatic shock. Neither does the film. It quickly goes downhill from the point of tragedy, building what looks like a shell-shocked narrative in-sync with the stupor that falls over Daniela’s soul after Orlando (Francisco Reyes) passes away.

The ensuing trauma of a ‘woman’ who is unacceptable to society for her gender and status in the life of the man she loved, is brought out like a dentist extracting rotten teeth. It is a graceless situation.And director Sebastian Lelio goes with the frown, rendering every crease in Daniela’s disheveled existence in shades of black and fright.

Daniela Vega
Spanish makes the dialogue-heavy sequences, makes it seem unnecessarily stretched-out and verbose. Flickr

Daniela’s dilemma is so in-your-face, it hardly needed to be affirmed so strongly by the narrative. Her humiliation is shown in scenes in the hospital and at the police station. And we know what happens to the mistress specially when she is gender-challenged. But Marina’s behaviour post the tragedy eschews empathy. She frets, fumes, snarls and at one point even jumps on to the car of her deceased lover’s family to bounce up and down.

By this point the edgy narrative begins to look uneasily unfocused.

Perhaps Marina’s unconventional methods of protest are a cultural things. Maybe in Chile, the conventions of bereavement are played out at a pitch that seems fairly bizarre to us. Also, the fact that the film is in Spanish makes the dialogue-heavy sequences, such as the one where Marina is confronted by Orlando’s wife in a car basement, seems unnecessarily stretched-out and verbose.

Also Read: Eating diorder can be treated in transgenders

“A Fantastic Woman” fails to carry us along in its protagonist’s tough journey from bereavement to isolation to confrontation to settlement. Marina can’t wait to get out of it.

Neither can we. (IANS)

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Director of ‘Stree’ Says It’s Easier to Experiment With Debut Film

The story of the film, starring Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, revolves around a ghost and a few people around her.

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Shraddha Kapoor
'Stree', starring Shraddha Kapoor releasses on August 31. Flickr

Amar Kaushik, who will make his Bollywood directorial debut with the horror-comedy film “Stree”, says it is easier for filmmakers to experiment with their first film as people are not aware of their signature style.

Asked why he chose this genre instead of a love story, Kaushik told IANS: “I think it is easier to experiment with my first film because here people do not know my signature (style) as a filmmaker. With success, people begin to fear to experiment, especially when they establish their style of cinema, build a steady audience who love to follow their work. Commercially that becomes tough to experiment.”

The Cast Of ‘Stree’. Bollywood Country

“Since this is my first film, I am taking a chance with a good script, a bunch of great actors to tell a story written by Raj and DK. If it falls flat on my face, I would learn from my mistake and move on. Having said that, I am confident that people will love our film,” added the director.

The story of the film, starring Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, revolves around a ghost and a few people around her.

Also Read: Bollywood 2018: 10 Blockbster Movies Of First Half Of The Year

“There are people who do not prefer watching an out-and-out horror film. They get scared. But comedy is something that we all get entertained by…so our film has the quirk to entertain you, and a little element of mystery and horror to thrill you,” shared Kaushik.

“Stree” will release on August 31. (IANS)