Cliff Curtis and Gracija Filipovic in Murina.
Coming-of-age movies set at seaside locales are virtually their very own subgenre by now, but seldom are they as intoxicatingly existing as Murina. Croatian director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s debut characteristic (which received the Digicam d’Or for Most effective To start with Movie at Cannes final yr) plunges us into the intellect of a teenage female having difficulties to absolutely free herself from her domineering father, and it does so by immersing us in the immediate bodily globe bordering her. Amid other factors, it is a film about the lapping of waves on the shore, about the roar of boat engines, about the way the rocks and crags of the Dalmatian coastline discuss to the uncontainable restlessness of youth.
When we initially meet Julija (Gracija Filipović), she and her father Ante (Leon Lučev) are out spearfishing morays (“murina”). The brash, impatient Ante thinks nothing of bellowing orders and pushing his daughter out of the way anytime he thinks she’s executing a thing completely wrong. His aggression can manifest as boisterousness or passion, and one can see how in small doses Ante may feel charming to outsiders. But for his family, dwelling with him is much more a reign of terror. Julija’s compliant, fatigued mother, Nela (Danica Curcic), desperately looks forward to the handful of times when Ante could possibly be in a good temper.
The daughter is the one accomplishing the increasing up below, but there’s one thing fundamentally childish about the father as perfectly. As performed by the veteran Croatian actor Lučev, Ante has nervous, hungry eyes and a predatory grimace. He’s a patriarch who regulations over nothing, substituting rage for electrical power – which successfully will make him a pathetic, overgrown toddler. This person sights every thing as a dare: A reminder from his daughter that their boat when acquired ruined when he tried to steer it among two substantial rocks is a challenge to attempt it once more. Ante might consider this satisfaction, but to every person else, it feels like juvenile boastfulness. We have all recognized men and women like this, and 1 of the more heartbreaking sides of Murina is the deep chasm between the way Ante sees himself and the way he’s found by those people closest to him.
The father’s mindset the natural way puts him on a crash class with his daughter, who has just begun to assert her independence. In sharp contrast to Lucev’s chatty, chest-thumping conceitedness, Filipovic maintains a quiet, intense focus on every thing all over her — pretty much like a captive waiting for the suitable opportunity to escape. And the female finds an possibility with the arrival of Javier (Cliff Curtis), a gazillionaire household friend traveling to for the first time in a long time, who arrives with claims to assist Julija get into Harvard, in which he’s endowed a library.
Viewing her dad and mom with Javier, Julija glimpses paths not taken and life left unlived. It’s very clear that Javier was when in like with Nela, and that his friendship with Ante has had its share of strain in excess of the many years. Sensing this, Julija develops a closer marriage with Javier (even referring to him as her father at just one place) when also making an attempt to engineer a rekindling of his passion for her mother. In the girl’s thoughts, it shouldn’t get as well much exertion to escape with her mom and Javier to forge a new relatives, leaving Ante driving. It is a child’s absurd fancy, to be certain, but in just the heated immediacy of the movie, it can make some twisted psychological perception. Kusijanović conveys all this by way of the way her actors transfer from and glance at one an additional. That is filmmaking of the optimum get — intimate and gripping.
For his section, Ante has a 50 %-baked strategy about convincing Javier to get huge blocks of land so they can open up a resort for Italian travelers collectively — a resort the place Julija will, of system, have to do the job at some point. “Dreams die in paradise,” the infinitely patient Javier tells Ante, seeking to convince him to permit the female go abroad to study. That line could be the governing aesthetic of the movie. The options of Murina are absolutely attractive, but Kusijanović avoids the siren contact of the picturesque. The sea is steel blue, the terrain arid and lunar the landscape has been stripped of risk. Even the expertly-shot underwater sequences have a unusual, surreal desolation to them only people haunted, serpentine morays seem to exist in this barren blue environment. (We see just about no other fish.) The daughter’s desires can not be contained by this spare coastline, though the father’s dreams have curdled right here into vacant grandiosity. The complete location is suffocated of lifestyle. And yet, in some way, the photograph alone is splendidly alive.