Ana, mon amourBerlin Film Festival 2017
The rise and decline of love is hardly a fresh cinematic topic, and though it tries, Ana, mon amour doesn’t bring anything new to the table. This is not to say that the film is unengaging, and any potential flatness of the subject matter is banished by the naturalistic performances of Mircea Postelnicu as Toma and Diana Cavallioti as Ana. The pair meet at university. She suffers from extreme anxiety and quickly comes to depend on him, despite resistance from both their families. The movie depicts the couple at various stages of their relationship, differentiated by changes to hairstyles and the chunkiness of their mobile phones. As Ana’s dependency turns to independence, it’s wondered whether they only worked as a couple because Toma needed to be needed.
Ana, mon amour doesn’t spoonfeed information, and yet the rawness of the situation is evident. It simply and accurately captures the mood of the relationship, and for this reason it feels like a number of scenes are unnecessarily protracted. The intention and atmosphere has already been conveyed and yet key sequences just keep going, meaning the entire package feels around 20 minutes too long. Sheer longevity doesn’t equate to depth, and with a bit of restraint in the editing room, the film could have had an added punch.
The piece is unlikely to find much love outside of film festivals or the arthouse video on-demand services where most audiences will experience it, although it will be included on lists of movies that contain unsimulated sex. There is a clear emotional honesty to Ana, mon amour, and it never judges anyone’s motivation, even during jarring moments such as domestic abuse. Postelnicu and Cavallioti are both excellent, and their commitment is evident. This is an interesting portrait of the rise and decline of love, but a true connection with the film is lacking.
Ana, mon amour does not have a UK release date yet.
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