In My Room
What would you do if you woke up to find empty homes and empty streets? This is the exact circumstance Armin, our unconventional hero, wakes up to one morning. Seemingly the last man on Earth, he sets about navigating this strange new world. The physical realities of Into the Wild meet the philosophies of Walden in this fascinating account of rebirth and struggle. Ulrich Köhler’s pensive drama invites the audience in and holds them captive, but loses steam with the introduction of a flat character towards the end.
The question of right versus wrong is ever-present. To wake up in a world suddenly devoid of all other human beings is a compelling predicament to ponder and one which is potent enough to capture the viewer’s attention. We’re right there with Armin (Hans Löw) as he grapples with the confusion, anxiety and terror of having to make impulsive yet important decisions. After the initial shock subsides, the protagonist settles into a solitary but fulfilling rural lifestyle of the past: farming, raising livestock and utilising hydropower to generate electricity. A man who was previously, by all accounts, a loser with very little going for him suddenly seems to have something to live for, and the appearance of a young woman, Kirsi (Elena Randonicich), presents him with a second chance at happiness.
What resonates most with the audience is the idea of one man reinventing himself and embracing the notion of shunning modernity and finding happiness and fulfilment in a simpler life. The introduction of the second character seems like the missing piece of the puzzle that could complete the story, but Kirsi rejects this role. It would seem natural for the two to reproduce but she vehemently resists, believing it would be morally wrong to bring a child into this world. The problem doesn’t lie within the woman’s general refusal, but in the manner in which she interacts with Armin. He treats her with the utmost kindness, so much so that her cold demeanor makes for a jarring disconnect. Randonicich gives a standoffish performance in an already reserved role, undermining the general impact of the film. It’s a powerful statement for the female character to shun motherhood in pursuit of her own interests, but when met with such a genuine character as Armin, and in the larger context of the movie, this action is largely disappointing.
In My Room does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Cannes Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
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Watch the trailer for In My Room here: