Saturday, October 27, 2018

Disappearing Act

Cherry Pie (2013) - Merz
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"I will find a perfect place to disappear," Zoé (Lolita Chammah) declares on the phone message she leaves for Toma. She just walked out on him. With only a flimsy clothes on her back and without a place to stay, she hitches rides without any destination or plan.
As you probably know by now, I'm a sucker for road movies starring a girl/woman. Swiss filmmaker/cinematographer Lorenz Merz's Cherry Pie seems to be banking on that premise because it's the only thing the film has going for. And Lolitta Chammah. There are a lot of Chammah twirling around in the wet and windy weather of the English Channel and the coastlines. I got no problem with that. Almost always in tight closeups, we get to experience and study her anxiety ridden face. Her diet subsists of coke/pepsi and pop music blaring through her earphones.

Zoé encounters some souls here and there, they are like distant strangers that she watches from afar. There are less and less people. As she crosses the English Channel on a ferry, she encounters not one soul and it gives more time for her to twirl on the empty deck.

Merz is going for an expressionistic take on 'a woman finding herself on the road' but not successfully. It's one of those pretentious student films that you wish you could change and make it better, giving it a little more soul to get bigger lingering impact on you because the premise itself is just too perfect. Chammah is not wasted here but has very little to work with and it shows.

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