Anatomy of a Fall

Anatomy of a Fall
Anatomy of a Fall
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There is life in a courtroom drama; the only requirement is that it be marital. From Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” with which traditional mystery begins, but it becomes a different type of fall than the literal one at its core. It’s about how relationships deteriorate, and how often these slow-motion falls can take place over several years of accumulated resentments and betrayals. The highlight of this film is Sandra Hüller’s performance as she finds herself caught in the middle when an Italian court indicts her for the murder of her husband—she might not be the best actress this year, maybe.

It was awarded Palme d’Or for being more than just another thriller but rather a microscopic study of marriage from all sides while reminding us that no human soul can ever be fully understood except his own self. However, it’s lengthy and daring at times feeling too chilly and self-indulgent yet towards the end bunches of scenes are so powerful you get knocked out by them like a punch line. Or when a fight with your partner goes too far.

Sandra is played by Hüller who starts giving an interview about her career as an author –a notion used profoundly by Triet to show how writers always seem to turn those around them into something special thus making our protagonist (and I’m sure it wasn’t accidental that both protagonists had their names borrowed from their actors). Meanwhile above them on this snowy cabin in France Alps some loud music starts playing, almost flirtatious music was playing anyway. It’s Samuel (Samuel Theis) who plays the instrumental version 50 Cent “P.I.M.P.” On repeat. And louder and louder until he succeeded in disrupting that all-important meeting with him finally asking him to leave right there.

The interviewer gets up and leaves after an argument over dinner, leaving behind Snoop (their dog) to take Daniel (their son) on a long walk. When he comes back, Samuel is out in the snow with a bleeding head.

Was he pushed? Did he jump? Or did he fall from the attic where he had been working?

Anatomy of a Fall covers for the next two and half hours almost every detail that constitutes investigation and trial surrounding Samuel’s death. Everything they did was analyzed not just that day but throughout their marriage by people who never even knew Sandra or Daniel or Samuel for that matter. Very few films have captured how many personal issues are dragged up when an unexplained death is ruled.

Samuel’s therapist testifies that he wasn’t suicidal; however, it was only what Samuel allowed him to see. The interviewer answered questions about the state of someone she had just met today. How much does she know about them? We only ever get to see little bits of someone’s mind. Sometimes, it seems like Sandra’s personality is on trial here which compounds matters further; although there could be more evidence suggesting otherwise as well.

Triet may sound like he’s playing a detective game with “Anatomy of a Fall,” though she is not manipulative and has no intention of hiding anything. Actually it only gets better when the viewer ignores a certain amount of gamesmanship that would have featured in less skillful director’s work on this story.“Yes,” there is a problem to be solved here, and I think it does get solved, but that’s not what matters. Triet is trying to ask herself how couples talk or fail to so and what can result from such failure.Sandra and Samuel should not speak their languages – they speak English which serves as their common ground; Daniel has a vision problem after an accident.We do not fully understand each other.We cannot see ourselves completely.

Hüller is stunning, keeping much of Sandra’s motives and half-buried skeletons internal. Everything about her character has been thought through; the whole thing is so well played out that one can see all the back-story flowing into nearly every scene. How does a woman like Sandra get to a place where everything changes suddenly and her husband ends up dead? And how does that affect her? The director doesn’t allow emotion to go overboard hence when this film reaches its emotionally climatic moment at an intense flashback it becomes devastatingly realistic. There exists another version of “Anatomy of a Fall” that uses excessive melodrama and suspense for cheap thrills — this movie is about people, and it’s the bond between Triet/Huller that keeps its scenes together.

On occasions, 151 minutes seem longer than what this story actually needs but on the other hand adds more weight to its literary nature than that of genre narrative.The duration enables us grasp cold within Sandra and Sunny house- both form outside snowing as well as other things contributing towards loss in warmth within family.How can we give up on resentment? Fidelity? The idea that our mates are not trustworthy? Or worse, they do not care? “Anatomy of a Fall” poses serious questions to its characters, but it is most powerful in understanding what it doesn’t say has all the answers.

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