Mommy – Xavier Dolan, 2014
Redundant and flashy as it may sound, I’ve been obsessed with director Xavier Dolan for years now. His eerie use of cinematographic trappings that brand his artworks, stirred sensations of love and grief for the stories that is, for me, almost unfathomable. Maybe it is his full-on approach to (his) stories or the charge of emotions that strike a chord within me and compels me every time. Maybe it is a compound of things that always leave me with something to ponder on for a very long time.
Mommy was praised at Cannes 2014 for its originality and touch on very complicated and painful matters. This is the story of a young guy, Steve, (Antoine Pilon) who suffers from ADHD and is impressionably agressive, her mum Diane (Anne Dorval) who brings him back home from the mental hospital he was previously institutionalized and Kyle ( Suzanne Clément), a stuttering woman who finds shelter from his life in Diane and Steve.
The movie develops on different layers. Steve is depicted as a very mellow guy whose presence spices things up for his irony, but, almost in an inexplicable way, turns into a swearing machine who snaps at people and destroy everything that is on his way. He doesn’t want to see boundaries, he’s made for freedom and he can’t be denied love and apprehension. Her mum Diane, who has evidently gone through many troubles and strains in her life, utterly embraces the maternal instinct she bears and is ready to face the unexpected for Steve. Her apprehension and infinite love for her child and her life is just heartbreaking. Diane’s social life doesn’t flourish and her neighbour Kyla seems to be the easiest way to get in touch with the world of people. A soon as Kyla steps on Diane’s house, a love triangle sparks and their lives will be affected forever.
I feel like I can’t say much about the plot and narrative of the movie itself, as spoiling a precious artwork like this feels just like stabbing straight into the ribs. The scenes Dolan’s imagination has been able to capture for this film and the fierce performances of the actors will blow you away. You will feel like a part of you has been stolen, that the cinematic experience was lacking and that it coloured your spirit. It is a masterpiece that embodies the knowledge of yeah, cinematic techniques and everything, but especially of we human beings and the difficulties our emotional sphere has to cope with, the madness that captivates us in a box of dreams and broken hopes.
I swear, Mommy will linger on you and you will be exposed to social issues you may have not thought of before, or maybe not as much as you should have. But, at the end of the day, how many things do we have to worry about on a daily basis? Social pressure kills us inside out and cinema is a getaway that strengthens our perspective in life and simultaneously gives voice to our minds in full force. It is just compelling.