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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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Jammu And Kashmir’s Ad Film Wins Gold At IAA Awards

Conceptualised by J. Walter Thompson, it was directed by filmmaker Amit Sharma

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JAmmu and Kashmir
Sanasar, Jammu and Kasmir- wikimedia commons

A short film on Jammu and Kashmir tourism, launched by the state government, has won “gold” at an award ceremony organised by the India chapter of International Advertising Association (IAA) here.

The ad film titled “Warmest Place on Earth” launched by the state’s Tourism Department in September 2017 has been declared the winner in the ‘Travel and Tourism Category’ at IndiAA awards held here on Friday, according to an official statement.

Kashmir
The ad film titled “Warmest Place on Earth” launched by the state’s Tourism Department in September 2017 Flickr

IndIAA Awards is the intellectual property of the IAA India chapter, and was instituted in 2015. The award recognises mainstream creative advertising campaigns.

The film highlights the hospitality of Jammu and Kashmir. The 5-minute film was the first such big campaign launched by the Kashmir government.

Also Read: Here’s How Strict India’s Citizenship Test Can Really Be

Conceptualised by J. Walter Thompson, it was directed by filmmaker Amit Sharma

In 2014, the Union Ministry of Tourism had launched a campaign and won the ‘Blue Elephant’ at ‘Kyoorius Creative Awards’. (IANS)