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A Radiant Girl 2023 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
I’d say we’re all a little tired of war movies , no ? Usually they follow a very tragic and violent line that we are used to following every year in some production. In the case of the Second World War, then, it is not even mentioned! It is undeniable that it was a great tragedy that affected thousands of people socially and economically, whether due to ethnic, religious, physical issues or anything that ran away from a Nazi-fascist ideal. In this sense, A Garota Radiante appears as an outlier within this theme. By the way, I don’t even know if we can call this movie a “war movie”. It follows the effects of war on a Jewish family in Paris in 1942, focusing on the character Irène, a young aspiring actress who lives quietly, working, hanging out with her friends and experiencing love. Unfortunately her reality can change. In this way, the plot deviates from what we would imagine to be a film that portrays anti-Semitism and the effects of war. This does not mean that these effects are not there or that they are mild, but that they occur gradually, between the lines.
The narrative is, like the protagonist, carefree. This is good, since accompanying the everyday banality of young Irene and her family makes it easier to identify with the public. On the other hand, the film does not have such a dynamic pace, being a little tiring and repetitive. However, whenever we forget that the film is about a Jewish family in Europe in the 1940s, the film reminds us, and this is where it gains strength. We understand, therefore, that the banality of everyday life is not as irrelevant as we imagine. Gradually the family needs to update their documents or embroider the yellow Star of David on their clothes to be identified as Jews, for example. And it is in these moments that the viewer meets the character of Rebecca Marder: the change of expression and actions when facing the fact that reality is being corrupted towards a painful totalitarianism is clear. The innocence of Irene’s youth is gradually lost before our eyes. When we find or “forget” the Nazi occurrence, the film makes a point of reminding us again and is increasingly distressing.
What captivated me the most was, of course, the construction of the protagonist. Initially, her flighty and dramatic manner, typical of a young woman who dreams of being a great actress, sounded a little irritating. As the plot progressed, I gained a little affection and affection for the character, as it is impossible not to identify with her at some point. There are excellent narrative elements that translate her naivety, but that she has a strong personality and a good-natured face. As it is a French film, I perceive her as a muse of the Nouvelle Vagueof the 21st century, deconstructed: in the eyes of Jacques, his crush, is seen as something to be discovered, polished, but is also admired for its authenticity. She is much more than a young woman with a platonic love for a boy. She has yearnings, desires, frustrations, she is clumsy and, even so, she is still a muse.
The film brings a feeling of hope. The final scene is cruel, but represents a girl who had her dreams stolen by a prejudiced system that murdered millions of people, but who bravely resists. Her destiny intertwines with a devastating war, but she is brave. I believe it is a “war movie”, after all. A war that we don’t see concrete, but that we see being structured in the most diverse relationships and in everyday subtleties.
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