Life ends, but the way you choose to live ends up lasting beyond the end of earthly existence. It’s a good starting point for one of the many discussions on “Unlikely Friends” (2019), by Chinese-Canadian Aisling Chin-Yee.
A story featuring women (four), directed by a woman, and which obviously privileges a female perspective on relationships and the world, can be biased — and that is at different times. To defend Chin-Yee’s work, we can argue that productions where the presence of men is hegemonic also lend themselves to the sad role of defamation of outdated behavior, even if many of them persist in ignoring that the process of female emancipation is very recent, even if most women have always worked, and not for pleasure, not because they had the opportunity, from an early age, to study, to discover a field of knowledge which aroused in them a greater interest and, finally, succeeded in refining their talents on the benches of a university. This part of the female population forced to take a stand, often still at the dawn of life, certainly does not feel represented at all by the protagonists of the “Amigas Improváveis”, whose great merit is precisely this: to talk about ‘a social group that also bypasses statistics and sociological interest.
The plot features four women, but it revolves around a man, even if the only image the viewer can have of him is a painting hanging on the wall at the reception following his funeral. Craig was the typical man who, under the pretext of rebuilding his life by getting married for the second time, leaves a trail of pain, confusion, silence, and since this new union also ends, now in death, he remains also a lot more .arid things to overcome and a lot less subjective bills to settle. Both relationships resulted in sons, or rather daughters, fortunately or unfortunately. Along with Cami, played by Heather Graham, Craig had Aster, by Sophie Nélisse; from her second most serious involvement, with the fickle Rachel, a commendable performance by Jodi Balfour, Talulah was born, the role of Abigail Pniowsky, who had certainly taken after an unknown relative, given her tranquility and good nature. meaning. Everything suggests, throughout the story, that Craig did not even deign to wait for Cami’s divorce to get involved with Rachel.
Alanna Francis’ screenplay underlines the immaturity of these women, forced to develop a more practical way of life, but unable to accept responsibility for the choices they have made, and not only victims of the scoundrels of a supposedly loving man. . It is much easier to experience shame, to balance it with a sense of guilt which, at least at first, reeks of hypocrisy, and finally to leave everything as it is, attributing to the complexity of the problem a thick smoke of resentment and hatred. , especially against the deceased, who will say nothing at all. The blood ties between Aster and Talulah, defined by Craig, the unbridled stallion, obviously means nothing to them either, and if all goes according to logic, Aster is advised to forget about his young half-sister once and for all, before she too becomes an adult and demands her judgment. Rachel will soon have nowhere to live with her daughter, as her partner defaulted on the mortgage on the house six months ago and soon everything will be auctioned off, as she is unable to accept the Cami’s offer to move in with the girl. one of the rooms in the mansion where he lives with Aster.
François constantly points to the guilt, the annoyance of having to face the gravity of bad decisions, which can reverberate for many years, without paying attention to whether there is still a reason to live so badly. The ‘first wife’ hasn’t been exactly generous in making the invitation, and Graham’s studied and calculated expressions give the audience the feeling that what she really wants is to provoke Rachel, to test her, to know until where it can bend without breaking. half, even when approaching it very closely. These are cruel approaches to a problem that hurts all four of them, some more than others.
Such sisterhood, sisterhood among women, only begins to have a chance after more than halfway through “Unlikely Friends.” The war of nerves between Cami and Rachel – more specifically between Cami and Rachel – is the most contradictory and touching thing in the plot. Little by little, from their differences, a feeling is born which begins to unite them, as if suddenly a mountain of concrete which separated them was removed and they finally understood that they had always been in the same place, even if in the fields, come on, opposites. Graham and Balfour are in great shape, each helping to bring out the other at the right time, but impossible not to mention the approach of half-sisters Aster and Talulah, who shed what’s left to become true friends. , and if they love him as such, though they are daughters of the same man. Blood doesn’t always speak louder. And although it is.
Film: unlikely friends
Direction: Aisling Chin Yee