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Κυριακή, 29 Μαρτίου 2015

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012)





Director: Felix van Groeningen
Writers: Johan Heldenbergh (play), Mieke Dobbels (play)
With: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse
Duration: 111'
Production: Belgium, Netherlands

I always find it hard to write down my thoughts when it comes to films I love. "The Broken Circle Breakdown" is one of them. This intense Belgian drama took over my consciousness for many days. For its strong narrative and storyline are breathtaking and every shot vibrates out of real life. 

Nominated at the 2014 Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film for Belgium, this film made an intense impression worldwide because of its inner strength to narrate a magnificent love story between two earthly creatures. 

Didier is a musician, specified in the banjo. He sings and plays for a bluegrass band. Elise is a tattoo artist with her own tattoo shop. They fall in love instantly. Their shared love for American music and culture will bring them even closer. Soon their life together begins and they have a daughter. The girl is diagnosed though, with an aggressive type of cancer and their lives change dramatically. We follow the course of their relationship by reversed narration. Pieces of their life appear in front of our eyes in order to understand the depth of their love and all those incidents leading to the present. 

The characters evolve gradually through the unfolding of their story, making you fall in love with them without even trying. They have a natural coolness, they way they fall in love, the way they live, singing together on stage, raising their daughter as free as possible. They live absorbed by their strong feelings for each other, a love that seems to grow every day. But cancer decomposes little by little that bond. Suddenly what drew them together sets them apart. 

Where once was deep love is now replaced by enormous confusion. Didier, a strong-minded atheist finds it difficult to suppress his opinion about the world and religion, while Elise has found a shelter and comfort through it. Their differences in how they see the world have enlarged through their daughter's illness. Elise, a woman full of temperament has found her soulmate in Didier and he feels exactly the same. But how can you fight life's struggles when the ego stands in front of you building a stiff wall?

"The Broken Circle Breakdown" is an intense elegy on true love between two different people who merged their lives and created a new one, a better and happier one. But their shared life is cracked and smashed from life's cruelty and harshness. The remains of their love are falling apart and they are losing each other along with their own selves. It takes a lot of courage to just go on even when you feel you have lost everything. 

Felix van Groeningen has created, through magnificent storytelling, a heartbreaking love story, presenting the true power of love. He has adapted skillfully the play "The Broken Circle Breakdown Featuring the Cover-Ups of Alabama" by Mieke Dobbels and Johan Heldenbergh, who is playing the role of Didier. 

With an amazing bluegrass soundtrack (performed by the protagonists themselves), inspiring performances and a great story, "The Broken Circle Breakdown" will make you laugh, hope and love, but mostly will make you want to live a full life/ With no regrets, no mistakes. Just a life filled with love. Can you handle it?