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Annette

RATING
4.5 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

Oh what a hectic weekend it was that left me mentally drained out. And so I had to push one new release to Monday so that I could recover mentally. With that I finished watching the new Englush film Annette on Mubi. I usually do not watch trailers but I happened to stumble upon the trailer of Annette that seemed quite mysteriously interesting. The trailer didn’t quite reveal its plot but it did just enough to generate that interest in me. Finally, I have finished watching it and here are my two cents on it.

Story & Screenplay

Annette follows the story of a standup comic and an opera singer who have a daughter who is mysteriously different. First things first – The story will not appeal to a large section of the audience because this is a musical. We haven’t been privy to stories that unfold through music and the lyrics. But, the story is experimental yet outstanding. I don’t remember the last time when I had watched a musical psychological drama. This film is a complete immersive experience and it demands your full attention throughout its runtime. The screenplay is extremely layered and it has that mystery element to it. The first 40 minutes are similar to the 2019 film Marriage Story where a couple fall in love have children until the toxicity of a relationship begins. But post that there are several twists and turns that will make your jaw drop on more occassions than one. The screenplay gets giddy here and creative to a totally different level. The proceedings get darker and murkier as the drama unfolds almost taking you on a guilt trip along with the protagonist. Also, the emotional bond that you form with the little ‘child’ is something I did not see myself you after the mystery around the child was out. The imagination doesn’t end there and it continues until the final act which is probably one of my favourites from this year. Make no mistake, if you aren’t privy to this style of filmmaking then you will find the proceedinfs dull and drab. But if you enjoy experimental cinema then you will fall in love with this film.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are almost non existential. Almost the whole of the film is communicated through songs and the lyrics. And the lyrics perfectly convey the mood of the drama. The film is a musical and each of the music pieces are outstanding. The songs slowly make their way through your heart and into your soul. The final act song may just break you into tears and shatter you. Needless to say, the BGM is top notch too. The cinematography is outstanding, capturing some intimate scenes aesthetically. The VFX really adds to the drama as well. Director Leos Carax is in marvellous touch here. He transports you into a world that is so unlike the world you live in yet so similar. A risky proposition to begin with, the direction is top notch and he comes out on top with flying colours.

Performances

The performances are incredibly good. Simon Hellberg as The Accompanist is brilliant especially in the second hour despite a limited screentime. Marion Cotillard aa Ann has a lot of soul to her character as well as an element of mystery to her in the second hour. She lives every bit of her character and is fabulous to watch. Adam Driver as Henry is without a doubt the star of the show. He has so many conflicting emotions to play with in what turns out to be a dark and vulnerable character. He is astonishingly brilliant, charming in one place and spine chilling in another. This is potentially an Oscar worthy performance if ever there was one! An acting masterclass to savour and remember!

Conclusion

Annette might be experimental and niche but its creativity is on an infinite level. It turned out to be one of my favourite films of the year, something that would stay with you long after it has ended! Do not miss this gem! Available on Mubi in India and on Amazon Prime elsewhere and Highly Highly Highly Recommended!

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