Entertainment

Criticism | With Olivia Colman, “The Lost Daughter” established itself as a powerful feminist drama

Olivia Colman has established herself as one of the greatest and most charismatic actresses of her generation. Recipient of an Oscar for her flawless work in “The Favorite” and an Emmy for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown”, Colman’s artistic versatility is one of the most striking aspects of his career – which is why any title that brings your name immediately catches our attention. It’s no surprise that the announcement of the drama ‘The Lost Daughter’ on Netflix has internet users and subscribers eager for wonderful performances and a moving narrative (somewhat ambivalent given that the streaming platform has the ironic ability to deliver great and terrible titles in equal measure).

The plot features Colman as Leda Caruso, an expert in Italian comparative literature who is on vacation from her job in Corinth, a seaside town in Greece. Seeking to get away from the urban chaos of her hometown and complex daily life, Leda’s vacation is thwarted when she crosses paths with a rowdy New York family and begins a complicated relationship with young Nina. (Dakota Johnson), a mom and housewife who doesn’t seem totally happy with what she has. It is from there that the protagonist delves into a journey of self-reflection that touches on a guilty paranoia, in which Nina’s personality and life functions as a portrait of what she herself experienced to a younger age – dealing with a newly structured family and their own ambitions that seemed to flow like sand into their hands.

The project came with expectations – and imbued with an ambition that could either respond to powerful messages about a gendered social traditionalism perpetuated to this day, or fail miserably to deliver anything deeper than a bowl of soup. Additionally, the feature film would mark the official debut of Maggie Gyllenhaal, an actress known for titles like “Donnie Darko” and “Batman: The Dark Knight,” in the director’s chair. And while many non-believers in the contemporary entertainment scene might say that the film is just another forgettable drama on the same themes, “The Lost Daughter” is one of the most powerful and powerful forays. important events of the genre he sets out to explore – not just from last year, but possibly the last decade. The reason? The shift from a narrative focus from cinematic conservatism to a poignant and necessary analysis of the current controversy over motherhood and gender roles.

There is some iconic content channeled into the character built on Colman, which stays true to his forays into the strong women whose stories need to be told. Leaving the presentation formulas, we get to know the identity of the protagonist through brief dialogues that she has with other people in Corinth, as is the case with Nina, the charming guardian Lyle (Ed Harris ), the handyman and business student of Will (Paul Mescal), and the annoying presence of Callie (Dagmara Domińczyk) and Toni (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Leda tries to get closer, but even those attempts prove to be forced for the woman she is – forced, in the past, to swallow things that she didn’t agree with (all in favor of a contemptible and painful facade). She then sees the perfect opportunity to prove that Nina is nothing less than an extension of all the frustrations she has faced.

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To say that Colman is doing well is a pejorative redundancy that does not do justice to so many impeccable works he has presented since conquering the mainstream scene. Here, the actress, with a jovial, light-hearted and extremely comical personality, is marked by a desire for revenge against the exhausting concept of motherhood which inexplicably endures with uncontrollable force. After all, as we can see from the flashbacks, she doesn’t have a healthy relationship with her husband or daughters, not knowing how to deal with exaggerated temper tantrums, elusive behaviors, and total addiction. As Colman enters a more mature specter who is fully aware of what he wants, Jessie Buckley, playing the younger version of Leda in a passionate surrender, is disappointed with the impending loss of her professional career and of the world that she is. she loses when confined. at home.

For those who are unprepared or for those who still believe that a woman’s life only becomes complete with the intrinsic false nature of motherhood, Gyllenhaal refutes this totally backward mentality and builds characters one can relate to. , strangers to unbridled stereotypes: Colman is just a more balanced version of himself than Johnson and, at the same time, was like her when she was younger. This vicious circle is translated with poignant urgency by the director and the screenwriter, taking us through a roller coaster of sensations which culminate in a sentimental resignation of each of the characters.

From an aesthetic point of view, Gyllenhaal deconstructs Corinth’s paradisiacal landscape through a photograph that surrenders to apathetic monotony, in a drastic comparison to the vibrant refuge sold by local leaflets. The idea is combined with the contradictory photography of the very talented Hélène Louvart, which allows this welcoming Eden to turn into earthly hell.

‘The Lost Daughter’, at first, may guide us down different paths – but the structure it is based on is one of pure criticism. There is no lightness with which the main themes can be explored, which is why Gyllenhaal, Colman and the rest of an extremely skilled team say all they have to say with shocking explosiveness and an accomplishment that leaves us wondering even after the rise of the end credits on the screen.

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