The VERY quiet before the storm
At the very beginning of this movie, wrapped in the early morning black veneer of temporary problem solving darkness, where troubles are still but a sleepy glued blur, we hear the quiet solemn words of Ana (Paola Giannini Fernardo) asking her husband Papá (Francisco Pérez-Bannen) ‘Are you sure you want me to go?’ It could be said of the movie too.
That’s not to say this is a bad movie, it’s far from it. But it’s a pretty confident road trip into the demise of a marriage. Confident in it’s ability to leave subtlety to give the explanation of what’s going on. And on that route, it’s definitely what’s not being said or sign posted that’s far more important. That entails a massive self belief in your ability as a director (Dominga Sotomayor Castillo) and the cast, crew that you gather around you. And again for the greater part it’s very successful.
With the constant steam of films raising ever higher pitched visual screams for our attention, ‘Thursday Till Sunday’ is effectively the sedative against all that. Far from the raging emotional hurricane called Love, there is no trail of destruction, just the slow motion inevitable slide into facade. Basically the way most folk do things. Numbly watching the inner cold outweighing the original enveloping warmth, but you carry on regardless.
Setting off on the family road trip up north, we’re effectively an extra passenger in the car. At least we get the window seat, and the Chilean land scape can be amazing. But as the miles clock up, the couple become ever more further apart, and the increasing barrenness of the landscape suitably illustrates the death of life in their relationship.
Of the two children, the older daughter Lucia (Santi Ahumada) is the only child who senses something is not quite right. She doesn’t have the emotional experience to quantify what is actually happening, and we like her, have to act like detectives piecing together snippets of conversations, and indeed it would help if you’ve studied up on micro-expressions (I have). Because I Sherlocked into observational mode quite quickly, I was taken aback by how much of an excellent performance everyone was giving, particularly the daughter and mum, who distill emotions down to glances.
As the journey continues there are ever more subtle parallels to the relationship, as each partner deals with situation in their own way. The husband regressing ever more into a child like state (robbing apples, mood swings and general irresponsibility), the wife into a more mum like countenance vying to hold everything together. The wife at one point having to explain to the husband ‘After a while, the same thing will happen to you with another woman’, as he continues to act like a trapped kid. The daughter in turn, being forced to grow up very fast.
As part of the movie experience, the necessary commitment to detective work that actually makes the movie far more fulfilling and as such, it leads me to not really want to say more about it. This is a very sparse movie. It takes confidence to do that, which I greatly applaud, and it does work. But it does leave you with an emotional vacuum after arriving at a destination that was signposted 300 miles back.
Thursday Till Sunday is released in the UK on 5th April.