Daniela Vega’s performance is about being personal.
Number one reason I wanted to see this Chilean film was because of the actress and singer, Daniela Vega. I’ve became of fan of hers when I viewed her first movie, The Visit.
In the film, A Fantastic Woman, we see the struggles that Marina (Daniela Vega) face when her boyfriend Orlando (Francisco Reyes) suddenly dies.
The struggles are in part because the character is a trans woman and therefore receives constant trans-phobia and threats from Orlando’s family, trying to erase her from his life and preventing her from getting closure.
Sebastián Lelio, director and co-writer of the film, didn’t put on screen a pitiful character, he instead put on a hero, letting us be in her shoes and live what she a trans-woman face, especially in countries like Chile, where is still hard for acceptance and equality for the queer community. Daniela Vega brings an riveting performance and a very personal one indeed, since she is also a trans-woman.
The director has said that he changed the character of the movie to be trans after meeting Daniela, and it also meant an opportunity for representation for queer story lines in cinema.
We are in a treat for the directing, because it shows us why movies are meant to be seen in the cinema, especially (spoiler alert), when she walks on a side walk and gushes of wind start blowing and we see her tilting forward trying to hold on while operatic music plays on. The film itself is very poetic and since Marina is a opera singer it has opportunities for the character to go in more abstract ways of expressing emotions and traumas.
“Foreign films” intend to have an interesting approach to their screenplays, and this film demonstrates it; it only gives us the moments and dialogues we need, it doesn’t go over board with its writing and letting the performances speak for it self.
I hope you have the chance in viewing this film, and remember, keep advocating quality film-making.
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