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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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Actress Radhika Apte Comments On Her Idea of Choosing Films

Radhika's versatile performances in her more than a decade-long career has made her stand out

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Radhika Apte
Storytelling has been special part of my growing up years: Radhika Apte. (IANS)

Known for featuring in several social issue-based movies like “Parched” and “Padman”, and for voicing her opinion on issues like menstrual hygiene and women safety, actress Radhika Apte says ultimately it is the story of a film which grabs her attention.

“I did ‘Padman’ not only because of its social message. I did it because it was a good story. I run after good stories. If I did not like the story of ‘Padman’, and if it was imparting the same message, I probably would not have done it.

“I am not here to do films with just social messages. I am an actor. I want to be a part of stories,” Radhika Apte told IANS here.

After riding high on the success of a web show like “Sacred Games” and “Lust Stories”, and a movie like “AndhaDhun”, the 33-year-old actress, who has broken the stereotypical image of Indian heroines by portraying unconventional and bold roles on the big screen, has featured in a mainstream and glamorous role in Gauravv K. Chawla’s just-released “Baazaar”.

In the film, she plays an ambitious city girl who can do anything to achieve success and fame.

Radhika-Apte
Not here to do only films with social messages: Radhika Apte. (IANS)

“I have not done such mainstream role before this. It was challenging for me as a lot of efforts were put into the glamour portion and style, and it was tough to keep the drama real,” she explained.

Radhika’s versatile performances in her more than a decade-long career has made her stand out.

She said she likes to be surprised and is open to all genres as long as “work is good and challenging”.

Also Read- Ebola Has Reached To a Very Serious Situation In Congo: WHO

“I want to challenge myself with each project. Right now, my focus is to keep producing quality work,” she added.

Apart from marking her presence in Bollywood and digital platforms, Radhika Apte is now all set to make a foray into Hollywood with spy drama “World War II”. (IANS)