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"Welcome to Marwen", demons and wonders

His work sum, if the expression still has a meaning: Robert Zemeckis is body and soul in Welcome to Marwen. Body dilapidated, soul amoeba. Man, filmmaker (read his portrait in Release of December 28), Once again he depicts it in such a way that, in the mirror, he seems to consider himself, without giving himself away, wounds, deformities reflected: lack of love, loneliness, addiction, attraction to death (which suits you so well) . The first quality of the film is its constant surprise. Welcome to Marwen Built before our eyes, as a measure, a story as brilliant and gigantic as it is tormented, to draw up the heart-rending portrait of one of those beings in perdition of which Zemeckis has the secret. It comes down to a few letters: bread. Pain. The trouble.

High heels. The misunderstanding on which Welcome to Marwen is founded with a masochistic delight, is that the film, under its airs of universal entertainment, his figurines kinky animated in the latest from the performance capture by the guy who once realized Forrest Gump, is totally dark. To start the year, the viewer dreamed more fun and less bizarre, no doubt. In any case not this monster of wounded humanity that is Mark Hogancamp (real character to whom a documentary has already been devoted in 2010). The film is also a little monster, in some places chipped or badly proportioned (such a scene may seem too long, or such redundant – as the adjournment of the trial – while it is pure recovery twice, the time that the Mark's terrified hesitation draws enough resources to triumph on his own).

So many selected asperities that manage to figure this kind of empty saturation that is the state of consciousness of the hero: Mark, this multitraumatized amnesiac, with reminiscences so brutal that it transposes them in a miniature world baptized Marwen, only populated Nazis and amazons who strafed, and of an idealized himself, figurine named "Cap'n Hogie" flawless fighter pilot with this: his taste of high heels. Mark, this soldier of operetta and this innocent martyr, the man who had the misfortune in the eyes of his tormentors to love wearing women's shoes. Feminist fetishist, in love with the love – of a woman whom he idealizes, even if it is his new neighbor (to entrust the role to Leslie Mann, to his embarrassed sweetness and his doll voice: perfect idea).

Inside Mark, everything is atrocious chaos – what the film seeks to make a fair image, like. Between pain, drugs, torment, delirium. Pushing to its limit the figurative powers of cinema and the stupefying transplantation of the creatures "more fake than nature" of the performance capture. Under the debilitating pains of Steve Carell, this character canceled by the amnesia, that the film step by step works to reveal (to the spectator) and to resuscitate (to itself), one discerns the self-portrait in hollow of his Creator. Moreover, the art of Zemeckis is never better than in the intimate confession in superproduction, that is to say, the recreation of an alternative world that can account for the pain of reality and the cure. A fictitious and instinctual microcosm that fights a merciless war between "good guys" and "bad guys" (the Nazis). To account for his inner demons in such a direct way is not a small challenge when working in Hollywood, original creations that still float. It requires courage, narrative finesse, technique, financial acumen, even if it exposes itself to total misunderstanding and the commercial oven – as is the case, alas and without surprise, in the United States, where the film was released ten days ago.

Monologues. Striving to approach the mental and physical state of his character, his pain and delusions that assail him, his solitude almost superstitious (sort of noli me tangere fearful), Zemeckis succeeds in an intricate, sentimental, hyper inventive film. Welcome to Marwen has just added up to Alone in the world and Flight, among his finest films. This trilogy of (silent) monologues with oneself, solos for an eminent filmmaker of loneliness. And this feeling of pain or sorrow in Zemeckis is all the more daring as it affects men – this kind of stasis of pain not only physical but "mental" that is the prerogative of women in the cinema. So it's very rare, characters like Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Steve Carrell. This kind of Zemeckis feminization, like the stiletto heels, will allow the filmmaker to show us, at the turn of an extreme shot in the middle of the court, that the executioners are also crying.

Camille Nevers

Welcome to Marwen of Robert Zemeckis with Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger … 1:56.

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