After the cathedral ‘Who prevents it’ (2021) it gave the impression that Jonas Trueba needed a break, and that break now comes in the form of a deceptive entertainment that under its light appearance and its short duration (just over 60 minutes) contains a lucid and painful reflection on the uprooting and bewilderment of his generationsurely inspired by the learning of his previous film, to the point of functioning as a bleak and disconcerting coda (there are no answers, there are many questions) of that one.
It does so by counting on actors who are, above all, accomplices and friends, all splendid, of Itsaso Arana a Francesco Laneof Vito Sanz a School Irene (make more movies, please), who, far from being their puppets, participate in and enrich a game that is not such and whose rules are always volatile and unpredictable, like those of these same unpredictable times.
The story begins at a concert by Chano Dominguez at an undetermined time post-pandemic. Two couples: on the one hand, Elena and Daniel (Arana and Sanz), who resist in the capital. On the other hand, Susana and Guillermo (Escolar y Carril), who have decided to settle in Alpedrete, or what could well be resigning themselves, settling down, throwing in the towel or settling down, upon learning of the former’s pregnancy. Susan and William they invite their friends to see their new house, to savor (or give a thumbs up to) their new lifeof which they are not exactly convinced either, with the phrase that states the title of the last film by the director of ‘The Virgin of August’ (2019) in a happy metalinguistic wink.
But Elena and Daniel, who reflect and fear reflecting on their friends, offer a quick resistance to finally end up giving in. The film is built through lively conversations, but also retorts, silences, jokes, disquisitions and ping pong games. Over time, Jonás has learned to “narrate between the lines” and in this film, more than in any other of his career, what is told makes as much sense as what is not toldwhat is said as what is silent, while the cinema is confused with life and experience with desire, longing or memory.
Exactly like in the cinema of Hong Sang Soo, Éric Rohmer, Philippe Garrel or Maurice Pialat; something refreshing at a time when all the characters in Spanish cinema have to verbalize each of their thoughts, doubts or shortcomings up to three times. ‘You have to come and see her’, along these lines, is still something like a story by Raymond Carver that offers different readings and seeks the identification and collaboration of the reader/viewer.
Live is Life: to change or not to change your life
Accompanies the singular, random and empathetic story the poems of Oblivion Garcia Valdes and the reflections of Peter Sloterdijk. In Jonás’ cinema, since the times of ‘All songs speak of me’ (2010), the date has gone from being exhibitionism and complicity to being part of a continuous search for refuge and meaning that affects and influences the characters. In his latest film, this search is especially relevant, since the company that culture so often offers only serves to better understand the situation of existential limbo on which his characters float, to apprehend the nonsense of the moment and our impotence to change it.
All of us who belong to the millennial generation, even those of us who are already a little taller, will recognize themselves in that disenchantment, to the point of also recognizing themselves in many of the experiences and doubts of their characters in a film that, however, never does. blood, never abandons the light tone, recreates in the tragic or uses the underlined as the engine of the drama. In this regard, ‘You have to come to see her’ coincides with two of the best Spanish films to be released this year, ‘Las gentiles’ (Santi Amodeo) and ‘We will not kill each other with pistols’ (María Ripoll), although in the In the latter cases, pain and disappointment constitute the vortex of the conflict and do not reside in the inner procession of his characters. It is not that Jonás is more subtle or more brilliant, but rather that he is interested in telling the same story in other ways.
The film ends with a peaceful country walk interweaving fiction and documentary, reality and dreams, with the vision of the film crew reminiscent of a common resource in directors such as Jean-Luc Godard or Jess Franco. What in his films was, above all, a questioning of the very nature of the story that unexpectedly unmasked the artifice, in ‘You have to come to see it’ serves, I think, to underline the identification between the author, the team of filming, the actors and their characters, as if they all live trapped in the same impostor syndrome and share similar insecurities about their place and mission in the world.
In this way ends a film that you may know little about, something that, depending on the demands of each viewer, will be seen as a fault or a virtue, but which leaves a pungent aftertaste on the palate that extends after the credits are over and represents a new firm step in the filmography of the Madrilenian. Because, after viewing it, What we are left with is nothing more than uneasiness wrapped in a false sweetness, and, above all, a series of questionsuncomfortable and uncertain, that do not expect to be answered.
Would Elena be happier with Guillermo or Daniel with Susana? What ties Elena and, above all, Daniel to Madrid, and at what price would they be willing to leave the capital to imitate their friends? Will Guillermo and Susana be happy in their new life in Alpedrete (the conversation between Elena and Susana, one of the film’s great moments, is key in this regard), or will they not be able to bear the weight of resignation and stability in the form of fault? Will each of them manage to overcome the imposture of happiness and overcome a vital uprooting that is already beginning to form part of their people?
It is the task of the viewer to answer these and other questions, in addition to questioning, in turn, to what extent it is recognized with what has been exposed, with as much simplicity as conciseness, by Jonás Trueba in one of his freest, most unruly, self-critical and brave works.