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The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

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Review: ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ surprisingly relates to todays society

This French thriller’s amazing cinematography is just a plus to what is to come throughout this plot-twisting film.

Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justine Triet, is a French film that follows a family grieving the loss of their patriarch who fell from their attic window. Although his wife, Sandra (Sandra Hüller), claims it was a freak accident, the investigators must discern if there is more to the story by questioning their blind son, Daniel (Milo Machado-Graner), using his memories to explore the state of affairs in their household. Detectives and lawyers work through the crime with the two family members, making a case for the possibility of a more sinister story. The film grapples with themes of morality, grief, uncertainty, public image, and the rippling effects of trauma. 

I feel that the director intended to evoke feelings of uncertainty. This can be seen in many aspects of the movie, foremost in the actual crime and its possibilities.  Throughout the film, Triet does an excellent job of keeping the audience guessing, never feeling sure of any character’s moral purity and honesty. The uncertainty also extends into the life of the family. The characters are unraveled in a meticulous, almost sinister way, twisting our thoughts from “I can identify with these people,” to “I don’t know who this person is”. 

Anatomy of a Fall relates to today’s society because we are surrounded by uncertainty. With so much happening in our everyday lives, this film portrays the insecurity festering under the surface of our outward image. Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” capturing the roles we play in our lives to correlate to our roles in society. The lawyer hired by Sandra advises her that this is not about the truth as she knows it, but how it looks from the outside. How do people see you, the player? 

Additionally, there are many problems with the justice system today. Around the world, we constantly see unfair treatment and unjust judicial systems. This film takes a more direct approach to the problems in the French justice system, and in turn, the justice systems of many Western countries. This film forces the viewer to put themselves in Sandra’s shoes as well as Daniel’s, confronting their views of what is fair, what is right, and the situational struggles we may deal with in the unforeseen and unknown. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would recommend it to anyone interested in a story of unpredictability and insecurity. The acting is phenomenal, especially from the young boy, Daniel. The movie has stunning cinematography, namely the use of snow in the film draped amongst the scenic French Alps.


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