The passage of time does not guarantee anything. Socrates (470 BC – 399 BC) was the first to sing a ball about the futility of old age when he articulated the idea that the more the years overlap each other, the more man realizes his terrible ignorance – sane man when he is less -, without you having all those Fat to burn, without being able to revive the cold flame of curiosity in the face of the new unknown, life itself and the improvement of the soul. Death hovers over the human race like flies around a cream-filled appetizer (but with distinctly bitter notes), and even before death, it’s an opportunity that unabashedly creeps into people of all races and cultures. By chance we have to deal with each day, eager to escape its snares, but also at the mercy of enjoying the sudden immersion and life moments that, however fleeting, legitimize an entire journey. Perhaps the greatest danger of being young is precisely this: discrimination, often in the space of a moment, where unexpected circumstances in life are in our favour, or are only masked by the colorful clothes of illusion to see us go to the bottom.
Kenyan Wanuri Kahiu has emerged in the global film industry thanks to “From a Whisper” (2009), for which she won the African Film Academy Award in five categories, including Best Film and Best Director. In “What if…?” (2022), the director crystallizes the strength of her talent with a plot about the adventures of a woman in search of self-knowledge, and precisely for this reason she makes decisions that, although understandable, can elicit indomitable anguish soon after. Combining the arguments of “A Case with Chance” (1998), directed by Peter Howitt, and “More or Less Pregnant” (1988), by John J. Avildsen (1935-2017), Kahye’s work is much more substantive. A clear predominance of disputes that are resolved even with a certain coolness. The feeling of déjà vu is fully exploited, as if the audience were on a merry go round, trapped in situations that could be repeated endlessly, although April Prosser’s well-drawn text has the power to lead one to believe an extraordinary event Really on his way.
“What would it be like if…?” It is a test balloon of the life of Natalie, an aspiring cartoonist and director played with a mixture of tenderness and verve by Lili Reinhart. In the opening, Natalie appears as a recent college graduate, making plans for five years from now; Meanwhile, quite simply, he went to bed with his best friend Gabe, begging Danny Ramirez’s character not to get past the binge and to carry on what it always was until then, just good friends. This is the hook for Kahiu to move the narrative using the concept of parallel reality: At the party introduced to the trainees, the girl and Kara, the faithful jam played by Aisha De, appeared locked in the bathroom, awaiting the result of a pregnancy test. Immediately, the screen is divided into two parts, and behind each of them the audience glimpses the fate of the central character if she chooses to somehow live her life, raising her child alone, once she declines the proposal to marry Gabe, who lives outside of it. He preferred a makeshift room at his parents’ house, or headed to Los Angeles on an adventure that might not go anywhere, but is necessary for him to assert himself as the owner of his nose.
At both turns, Natalie faces her misfortunes with dignity, subject to one occasional humiliation or another. On the one hand, if life as an aggregate in her parents’ home, the fine performance by Luke Wilson and Andrea Savage, is torment, on the other hand, the journey in the City of Angels doesn’t take long to prove that it is. Hell. In the first sequence in which she appears trying to adjust to a Hollywood crowded world of thousands of parties where no one knows each other (and she doesn’t care), it seems that the anti-heroine risks stopping her from participating. the ball. She penetrates, with Jake’s encouragement, the half-soapy type of David Corinsweet, who sticks with the girl until the two become friends and girlfriends soon after. The dramatic arc of Corenswet’s character, as well as Cara and even somewhat Gabe, remain rather weak. Prosser lays all his eggs in the protagonist’s basket, even pushing the envelope when promoting Natalie’s headgear in the corporate world, victim of Lucy, Nia Long’s once-idol animator and now-boss.
Obviously a happy ending. “What would it be like if…?” She seems to combine the two possibilities on Natalie’s path, become a successful professional, stay with her great love and the other characters simply disappear, a dangerous slip in a story that seemed too collective. The film contains highlights, with mention of iconic graphics such as “A Voyage of Spirit” (2001) by Japanese artist Hayao Miyazaki, that give spirit to a prominent commercial product. Something very adult, as another character from another cartoon would say.
Movie: What would it be if…?
direction: Wanuri Kahiu
SpeciesComedy / Drama / Romance
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