The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future Review: Haunting Chilean Fables
Sundance: A woman’s resurrection on a river full of dead fish pave the way for a touching and magical tale of environmentalism.
“The cow composes a song in the future“Uses magical realism to blend the story of a family deeply traumatized by a suicide decades ago and the allegory of Mother Nature calling for help. Thankfully, Francisca Alegría’s debut is hauntingly emotional and hopeful rather than angry and pessimistic, as Adam McKay’s recent apocalyptic satire “Don’t Look Up.”
Fish die from pollution, bees disappear, and cows milking are not far behind, no different from the beginning of Douglas Adam’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” And like the 2005 adaptation of the book, the animal laments are presented in song form, with fish and cows singing the pains of death and despair, begging their suffering to serve some greater purpose. When a fish begins to die in a river in the south of Chile, a woman (Mía Maestro) appears decades after her death. Given many questions and very few answers, Alegría and co-screenwriters Fernanda Urrejole and Manuela Infante make the point that life can emerge from death, begging the audience to stop fixing the damage already done. out the past and focus on saving the present and the Future.
Maestro’s Magdalena may be mute for most of the movie, but she doesn’t need words to cause a strong reaction anywhere. Her mere presence brought the phone to life, and when the widower saw her on the street, surprise made his heart flutter. This causes his daughter Cecilia (Leonor Varela) to return to the family dairy farm with her two children. Inside the dairy farm, the specter of Magdalena’s suicide looms large, with old scars looming for Cecilia and her brother Bernardo (Marcial Tagle), who have taken over the business. of the family from their neglectful father.
“The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future” was released with the audience’s expectations, using visual language to evoke the story of a vengeful spirit who came to cause terror to those who destroyed them. Mother Earth. But Alegría doesn’t care about horror or shocking the audience. Instead, the film becomes a folktale that uses magical realism as a way to connect the intimate story of a family suffering from generational trauma with an environmentalist. allegory of humanity destroying the environment and giving up while it is not too late. This is not unlike the way Hayao Miyazaki combines micro and macro to tell personal stories interspersed with more mundane stories about man’s relationship with nature.
We see this in the way the grief of losing her mother affects Cecilia’s present, from her lack of compassion for the environment and the cows being separated from their calves at the dairy farm, to her ignorance and compassion for her oldest child, whom she calls Tomás, and actually identifies as a woman. Non-binary actor Enzo Ferrada made a big impression as Tomás in their first film, infusing the character with fun and melancholy. While Cecilia and her brother would rather ignore Magdalena than acknowledge her return, it’s fitting that the person making the biggest connection to her is Tomás, who shares a shared sense of not belonging. limits of social expectations. Maestro may not utter a lot of words as Magdalena, but she expresses the character’s thoughts and feelings in a way that seems effortless, with silent glances between herself and Tomás doing much to heal the family. Family broken more than words can.
Although its visual aesthetic is reminiscent of Miyazaki, the pacing and narrative approach of “The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future” also suggests hints of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s meditative style. The movie wants us to spend enough time with the characters in the quieter moments, but the problem is that the movie often loses itself in the weeds of its own story. Maybe it was Alegría’s transition from making shorts to a full feature, but the bull could sing a shorter song this time. That’s not to say that genuine cows should have less movie time, quite the contrary. While not the focus of the film, it has some of the best animal actors for a movie in a long time, and between Inti Briones and Andrea Chignoli’s framing and Carlos’ editing. Ruiz-Tagle, you’ll believe a cow can sing.
Although “The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future” begins with scenes of dead fish, it ends with a more reassuring note: that if we stop agonizing over the past and focus on what is happening right now, there will be life. , and it’s not too late to reduce damage. If not for us, for those who come after us.
Score: B +
“The Cow Who Sang a Song in the Future” premieres in 2022 Sundance Film festival. It is currently seeking US distribution.
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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/the-cow-who-sang-a-song-into-the-future-review-1234694922/ The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future Review: Haunting Chilean Fables