Criticism of “Reloj, Soledad”, guilt and punishment in the new work by César González

Tuesday May 31, 2022

The director of Rain of Cages (2019) tells stories that emerged in popular neighborhoods from the perspective of its inhabitants, to put the viewer in his shoes and force him to understand the complexity of his difficulties.

César González closely follows his protagonist, played by Nadine Cifre, a cleaning employee for an SME who one day makes a decision that brings dire consequences.

The first half hour of the film is descriptive as if we were accessing a documentary. It shows us the day to day of this girl who lives to work. Her routine follows the same automation as the printing machines where she works as a cleaning staff, along with another colleague.

This detailed account of her emotional grief, which combines the pressure exerted on her body by obligation and submission, leads her to make the wrong decision: steal her boss’s (Edgardo Castro) watch when cleaning his office. The descriptive preamble of the film helps us understand the reasons for her act, linked to the economic need of the protagonist, but also, it is a way of getting out of the prison routine in which she finds herself immersed.

But her boss unexpectedly holds her partner responsible for the act and fires her from work. She feels her guilt and tries to redeem herself from it while the victim’s brother harasses her daily. The pressure exerted on her body is quadrupled.

Without ceasing to be a moral tale, Clock, Solitude (2021) draws bridges with the cinema of José Celestino Campusano by immersing himself in popular neighborhoods and telling, from there, the daily problems that take on tragic connotations.

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