‘murina’ Assessment: A Sinister, Sunny Croatian Coming-of-ager Makes For An Incredible Debut

If Patricia Highsmith had ever written a coming-of-age tale set at the rocky, clean-watered Croatian shoreline, it might have appeared loads like Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s brilliant, brooding debut, “Murina,” which quietly, with a sinister Adriatic sparkle, makes the compelling case that even with out labyrinthine murder plots or tough-bitten private eyes, a young woman’s passage into maturity may be the perfect, darkly fantastic car for a sunshine noir.

As at home inside the water as out of it — in truth the ocean is maybe her shelter from extra dangerous currents of lifestyles on land — Julija (Gracija Filipovic) is the lithe, surly teenage daughter of lovely, sad, trapped Nela (Danica Curcic). The fundamental supply of hysteria within the circle of relatives is Julija’s controlling, domineering father, Ante (Leon Lucev), the quantity of whose abusiveness is tough to gauge, but who virtually expects submission and obedience of his womenfolk, and who diminishes Julija and scorns any pursuits she may have for something but the destiny he has deliberate for her. Julija is beginning to bristle beneath his despotic rule over the secluded cove in which they stay their frugal lives. Kusijanović and Frank Graziano’s sharply observant script, introduced to scintillating existence by means of DP Hélène Louvart’s gorgeously stopped-down, moody cinematography, is specially attuned to the torpor and frustrations of living regular life in an area a passing vacationer might mistake for paradise.

Julija’s rebel manifests in small approaches. She sulks about having to head spearfishing with Ante, and whilst he has her recite a poem as an enjoyment for his visitors, she deliberately omits the road in which she have to beg the sea to return her voyaging father to her. But the chafing additionally encroaches on her courting along with her mother, whom Julija seems responsible for being with Ante in any respect. “You’ll simply wear anything he tells you to besides,” she snaps contemptuously as Nela tries to pick an outfit for the dinner party Ante has arranged, at which Julija herself, tons to her seen discomfort, can be forced to put on a dress as opposed to her popular ensemble of easy bathing fit and salt-mussed hair.

The Electra-complex undercurrents handiest get stronger with the appearance of the charismatic, wealthy Javier (Cliff Curtis), an antique companion of Ante’s who additionally has a romantic history with Nela. Julija doesn’t seem to know if she’s drawn to Javier as a capability lover or as a potential father parent — she both encourages her mom to go back his obvious enchantment and pursues possibilities to be alone with him herself — but it’s clear that for her, he symbolizes get away, and the bigger life that she’s sure lies in watch for her simply over the blue horizon.

“Murina” is rife with symbolism, however it’s a mark of Kusijanović’s command — an brilliant first-rate for a first-time characteristic director — that the recurring motifs and metaphors are worn so lightly and feel so organic to the movie’s microcosmic universe. The moray fish that offers the film its name, for instance, isn’t always simplest a local delicacy for which Ante and Julija regularly move looking; it is also a solitary, territorial species, with sharp teeth and a chunk that may be poisonous to humans. The ocean, too, holds contradictory meanings that tug at the edges of the movie just like the tides: The glistening expanse shot by Louvart as although it had been its own dwelling entity with changeable moods and capricious character, is Julija’s freedom, however it is also her jail. And like her overbearing father, it affords for her at the same time as being without end, powerfully dangerous.

All this environment, the evocative sound design and the occasional dreamlike underwater sequence make what is quite a Spartan, sincerely plotted film experience complete, sleekly changeable in one of a kind mild, like an eel. The uniformly outstanding forged breathe life into characters who may at the web page seem underdeveloped, with the 2 ladies outlining a uniquely ordinary and strained mother-daughter bond (“One day you may apprehend all I do for you,” Nela says cryptically to Julija in an unusual flash of temper). And the 2 guys, pals who are certainly opponents for alpha fame, come to be representative of the in another way toxic masculinities that define the patriarchal person international that Julija is about to enter, and wherein Nela has lived for see you later: the man who comes wreathed in the glamour of guarantees he will in no way keep after which disappears, as opposed to the person who guarantees not anything however domination and cruelty but stays the route. It is, in this stretch of sunny, spooky, glittery shoreline, a desire among the devil and the deep blue sea.non-compulsory screen readerRead More About:

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