Through a richly layered lens of myth-building and melodrama, Ainouz manages to capture the heartbreak, solitude and resilience of women on the verge.
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Invisible Life is a heady blend of the casual, the sorrowful, the near-mythical, and the carnally explicit — never more so, be warned, than on Eurídice’s wedding night.
The lustrous textures, boldly saturated colors and lush sounds of The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao serve to intensify the intimacy of Karim Ainouz's gorgeous melodrama about women whose independence of mind remains undiminished, even as their dreams are shattered by a stifling patriarchal society.
Only rarely does Karim Aïnouz allow for loopholes to refreshingly emerge from the film’s stylistic deadlock.
There’s such a disconcerting rush of lush imagery and action in the first 40 minutes or so of “Invisible Life” that one is apt to wonder whether there’s any kind of focused narrative. But the casual misdirection is setting the viewer up for an emotional kill.
Anyone already familiar with Aïnouz’s work will know to expect a florid sensory experience, but even by the Brazilian’s standards, this heartbroken tale of two sisters separated for decades by familial shame and deceit is a waking dream, saturated in sound, music and color to match its depth of feeling.
It’s a drama of resilient women, thoughtless men and crushingly unrealized dreams, told with supple grace, deep feeling and an empathy that extends in every direction.
Much of this is relentlessly bleak and hopeless—true to reality, perhaps, but also repetitious and dramatically inert.
Melodrama is a neglected genre, often delivered with a post-modern twist these days. Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz proves in this stirring, heart-wrenching period film that it can be served straight up and still work a treat.
Lush melodramas are a dying breed, especially masterful ones like Karim Aïnouz’s Invisible Life that wear Douglas Sirkian genre conventions on their sleeve proudly and abundantly.