Wednesday 1 November 2023

You Have to Come and See It [ 2022]

 Spanish director Jonás Trueba’s deceptively conceived, structured and titled film You Have to Come and See It – a playful post-pandemic work – was laced with Rohmer’s enchanting influences with its lyrical, disarmingly intellectual depiction of two gentle-natured bourgeois couples. It also had a dash of Godard’s impish subversion with its meta, self-referential coda, and a touch of Woody’s deadpan neurosis too with its urban malaise and rambling conversations. I wonder how many filmmakers can speak of such eclectic references! It began with a rapturous opening montage – Chano Domínguez’s “live” performance of his intoxicating new composition Limbo at a jazz bar in Madrid, counterpointed by alternately lingering on the faces of the four protagonists through soft close-ups that provided observant introductions to them – that, with its leisurely evocation of a relaxing mood through the beguiling choice of devoting nearly 8 minutes in a slender runtime of an hour, was gloriously immersive. The strikingly lovely, bespectacled and erudite Elena (Itsaso Arana) and doodling, fidgety Daniel (Vitor Sanz) – who live in the city – and the pretty, friendly Susana (Irene Escolar) who’s expecting and the casual, carefree Guillermo (Francesco Carril) – who’ve recently moved to the countryside – are old friends meeting after a long gap, presumably on account of Covid and the latter couple’s decision to relocate. The former couple make a reluctant trip by train to the exurbs six months later – accompanied by Bill Callahan’s melodic “Let’s Move to the Country” – and the group have a lazy time catching up on their intimate personal developments, having an al fresco lunch, indulging in political/philosophical banter courtesy Elena’s passionate discourse on Peter Sloterdijk’s You Must Change Your Life, playing ping pong, and exploring the surrounding environs.

Director: Jonas Trueba

Genre: Drama/Experimental Film

Language: Spanish

Country: Spain

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