"Kill Me Please" by Anita Rocha da Silveira (BR)
Venice Film Festival 2015 - Orizzonti Section
Name: Yuri Lavecchia
A series of brutal murders hits a rich suburban area set in the West side of Rio de Janeiro. Young people are being killed and the local teens are scared. Beside fear, there is also curiosity for death, that it is something unknown for them. Among these teens Bia, the 15 years old girl protagonist, seems to be attracted by the experience of death and at the same time obsessed with ending up in the wave of murders, more than her schoolmates.
As the director Anita Rocha da Silveira states in the press conference of her first film, the script is inspired by memories and emotions experienced during her youth. In this passage of transition between youth and adulthood, love and sex obviously dominate. Bia's impulses are routine in the film, but at the same time, her body and her mind are attracted to new experiences. So, when she gets close to brutal violence (she finds a dead body), attraction and repulsion fantasies begin to play ambiguously in her mind.
It will be clear at this point that the story of the murders is basically a pretense or pretext: the focus is the turmoil of adolescence, with no limits. In this way, the resolution of the case is deliberately pushed into the background.
Da Silveira tells the life of Bia and her friends at a moment of life full of uncertainties but, at the same time, where they feel invincible, typical of youth. The director audaciously decides to keep out of the frame all the adult figures, underlining her exclusively interest in teens universe of thoughts and facts, where femininity prevails, since the two only male are a bit freak or misfit (Bia's brother) and even dominated (her boyfriend).
But, since she faces many themes related to teenagers such as friendship, competition, envy, solitude, open-eye fantasies and introspection, we have to point out that a sensation of foolishness and frivolous seems to dominate the situations.
Moreover, what is absolutely unsustainable, and that in the long run becomes cumbersome, seems to be the absence of a dynamic screenplay. There are too many situations that are repeated or very similar, such as a lot of physical sex effusions. Despite the good ideas, the feeling is a kind of embarrassment for a poor plot used up much before the end credits.
Instead, what seems to be promising is Da Silveira's audio and visual expressive research, highly sustained by the cinematography, for example the use of funk melody, unexpected editing cuts and vivid colours, as the daring camera look that opens the film. All elements that seems to adhere to audacity and irreverence, whiche are also two adolescence skills.
Someone could note that the mood of this film seems to be dispersive, also due to the fact that the film opens as a teen-horror and then changes course going more towards a coming-of-age drama. Nevertheless, her own-style research is surely significant for a section like Orizzonti, even if it is not enough to hold up the lacks of the script.