Rosetta film review

25 Feb

Picture from the film Rosetta

A search for dignity captured simply

audio transcript

Rosetta is a really good film to talk about. Share a bottle of wine or a couple of beers and chat about it. But it’s not so easy to write a review about. It’s at times like this that I wish I had a guest in the studio, and just have a natter. But I haven’t so I’ll chat to you. Let’s get the obvious things out of the way first. It’s novel. There’s no score or other soundtrack – quite an unusual experience. The filming is done by following the untrained lead actress with a handheld camera. Lots of running around and lots of energy. [CLIP] But that’s not to say it isn’t fine direction. It could be hard to see the beauty in the sequence of a girl serving waffles from a van – when for the most part she is half obscured by the central pillar of the van’s window frame. That is unless the director’s done a brilliant job. And the brothers Dardenne have certainly done that. And when Rosetta gets a quiet moment, she can hold that moment quite brilliantly. [CLIP] What else? Well the characters are real – this is what makes it a good film to chat about later. There are really no ‘goodies’ and no ‘baddies’. Everyone, from the peripheral character of the waffle firm boss through to Rosetta herself, has the complexity of good and bad within them. The conclusions of their actions are never obvious, as we never know which side of their behaviour will come into play. We can muse over their motivations – in all to many films the actions of the characters seem to happen only because they’re written in the script. Locations are important too; the interiors of small scale industries, cheap apartments and Rosetta’s caravan; the exteriors are the caravan park, the less salubrious areas of urban Belgium and a bit of grotty riverbank. No sweeping visions of green countryside or soaring cityscapes. They are not glamorous, but they work. At 90 minutes this is a short film. A strange film which is running around after a girl from the edge of Belgian society. For this, the brothers Luc et Jean-Pierre Dardenne won the prestigious Palme d’or from the Cannes film festival. And the 18 year old non-professional lead gets the best actress award. Once again, Radio Quality brings you a taste of the sheer magic of cinema. But we still can’t explain it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: