Life is a movie of which we are the protagonists. In her last piece, the director Inés de Oliveira Cézar takes this concept to its most literal expression, and moves us to a world full of cinema references and everyday life itself. Baldío, which arrives this week at Argentine cinemas, is also special for its filmmakers, as a farewell, as the actress Mónica Galán acts, who decided to film her even knowing about her condition and had a great participation in the project, both in her Bright leading role as in the perspective and message of the film.
The plot is simple, and not because of this flat. A recognized national actress who has already crossed her moment of fame works on a film that is believed to be a worldwide success and in turn tries to deal with her son's addiction to drugs, particularly the paco. He is of legal age and is presented in the film as an extreme case, a kid who consumes until he feels nothing, until he ignores the pain, the cold, the memory, and he chooses to live on the street. From there take off all kinds of situations, in which mother and son are linked in a tug of war in which he steals to buy substance, she looks for him, rejects him, consults with psychologists, with friends, looks for him again, tries again Intern him, he escapes, and so on.
In the almost hour and a half of the movie, we are caught in a kind of hell in which many times we do not understand well who is right and who is wrong, we do not know "which side we have to be." This bet of characters with infinite imperfections is risky, and sometimes it is a bit exaggerated, but in general it is worth it since it shows us the situation through the lenses of a brutal realism, a realism that makes us uncomfortable.
As the counterpart of Brisa, the protagonist, is her cinematic alter ego. It is no accident that her costume in the movie, her costume, is much more daring than her usual clothes, or that she is made to wear a platinum blonde wig that is directly opposite her natural brown hair. When the cameras turn on Brisa is another, a strong, overwhelming woman, who does not have to deal with family problems, or with her absent ex-husband, or with the fear of old age and insecurity. But these two lives begin to mix when the fear of losing your child takes over everything, including its leading role of femme fatale. That's where the most interesting part of the movie lies, the perspective from which the addiction situation is represented.
With a black and white aesthetic in its entirety, it shows us with separate and disconnected scenes, almost like an exhibition of art in frames, the way in which drugs affect the people surrounding the addict. There are no terrible overdose scenes with foam coming out of the mouth or bleeding noses, there are no detailed shots of heroin injections in the veins, we only observe a desperate mother, a drifting child, and an environment of people trying to understand how to react to the different episodes that occur along the tape. Some remain, others turn their backs, others simply remain motionless watching the fortress mask gradually break apart. As in life itself the end of the film is subtle, the conclusion is nothing other than the beginning of something new. What matters is the trip. Baldío is a simple movie that works because it is not a farewell, it is a tribute, a little piece of life.