by Jaime Grijalba.
There’s an entire book dedicated to this film exclusively, about its making, its design, the plot, and an analysis of the movie, the frames, and everything that happens, which go hand in hand with interviews with Wes Anderson about his intentions and how everything went down. What can I possibly add to that tremendous work alongside every review, tribute and piece that has come out ever since this film was released? I must be honest with myself and with all the people that might end up reading this review and acknowledge my absolute impossibility to write anything about this movie that won’t re-word or re-phrase things that other much more talented people have said. It would be like me trying to write about ‘Citizen Kane’ (1941), not exactly on the same level, but there’s so much specialized writing, studies, books entirely dedicated to the craft and position that that movie has in the world of cinema, that one feels discouraged to even attempt to try something new. This is a new film, and while it’s not even close to the greatness of the Orson Welles opus, it has managed already to have an entire book based on it, and writings that have extended its early release in 2014.
What I will do is, in remembrance of one of the least talked about elements of the film, the romance between the protagonist and the Saoirse Ronan character, I will write a letter to my girlfriend, who is in this moment taking a plane from Mexico back to Chile, where we will be joined after two weeks that she spent away on vacation. So, hoping that you are not bothered by this, and if you are, well, you can close this window right now and return tomorrow for a more normal review of tomorrow’s movie, which is ‘The Imitation Game’ (2014), so here we go.
I know that I shouldn’t be writing this letter in english, specially since you don’t like this language that much, and even though you understand it, speak it, read it and even write it, we’ve always talked and expressed our love in spanish, a language that lends itself to that persuasion much more easily. Nevertheless, I’ve decided that I wanted to express my longing for your return in public, so you realize that it’s true.
It’s been a hard couple of weeks, with work, travel, and trying to find some confidence and footing so I can get ahead in this country that at times retain us and sometimes surprises us with its products. I think when you come back you could say that I’m a better person than the one you left behind: I’m working hard, I’m getting paid and I’ve always thought of you the entire span of time that we’ve been apart. I’ve also gone to the gym, because why not, and I’m preparing what will be my first feature length film. Exciting stuff that I can’t wait for you to see and comment on (that’s hoping that you don’t end up absolutely hating my ideas).
I remember when we watched ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, the theater wasn’t exactly empty, but it was not full either, and I think our row was entirely empty besides us. We held hands, not for the entire film, but during really tense and funny and romantic moments, that this film had in its majority. I always think of us either reading a book or seeing a movie in the theater, it’s our natural habitat of sorts, it’s the way that we feel, the way that we feel each other, closer and closer, it is the stuff that moves us, and the one that make us turn around, look at each other and smile (and sometimes kiss).
I seem to always find new ways to say that I love you, but today I can’t, because I’m nervous, you’re hopping on a train and I won’t know about you for a while, and maybe I won’t be able to see you if your plane takes you to Chile while I’m sleeping, but I know that once your transport enters Santiago, I’ll be calm and I’ll sleep well again, I will know that you’re here, I will know that you’ll always be here for us, just as much as I’ll always be there for whenever we move forward.
Maybe this movie isn’t exactly “our movie”, and I don’t think that we will ever have “a movie”, at least until I make it (hah, as if that’d ever happen), but we have multiple experiences, multiple emotions, and I think the good think about not having “a film”, is that we will always see new ones, feel the emotions, feel the momentum, feel the pull, the need to see or to read, or to hear a song, or to do anything that we do together.
Hope that this doesn’t make you angry, but I also hope it does, because I’ll be able to gently bite your nose and then kiss it repeatedly until I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.
I love you,