Cert: 15 Runtime: 95 mins Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne Cast: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée, Batiste Sornin and Pili Groyne
I don’t exist. I’m nothing. Nothing at all!
Deux jours, une nuit was one of the last films I watched in 2014. This is my second watch of the film and now I feel like I’ve absorbed it better. Marion Cotillard was worthy of her awards nominations her and Pike gave stellar performances but Morre prevailed as expected. What is Two Days, One Night about then? Sandra (Marion Cotillard), a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.This movie has a distinct “kitchen-sink drama” feel to it. Right from the first scene you are given the hint that the film will be about working class relatable people. There is no real villain in the film and the actions of every character is understandable. The whole storyline revolves around a dilemma that attacks the characters whom Sandra pursues. The directors subtly provoke us to introspect about what our choice would have been when faced with similar dilemmas. The film looks fantastic.
The interior scenes are ornamented with bright and vibrantly coloured surroundings. The scenes outside on location are also beautifully shot. There are long takes with the camera sometimes staying static in one position for extended spells of time. Due to the minimal editing and static nature of the camera, the acting and the style of storytelling becomes aggressively realistic and very intense and intimate. The acting is extraordinary. There are moments in the film where the distinctions between what is real and what is not get dissolved due to the brilliance of the actors and when I say actors, I primarily mean Marion Cotillard. Her character Sandra goes through a whole variety of mental conditions during the two days ranging from sadness, a sense of surrender, hopefulness, tiredness, madness caused by depression, reasonable happiness and an ultimate sense of fulfilment. She doesn’t put a foot wrong.The storyline touched upon many themes like female liberation, office politics, depression, family life,etc. But in the end it is about the human spirit to keep persisting without giving up in the face of great adversity.