Netflix’s unpredictable thriller divides opinion, but it’s a minor masterpiece

The more original a film is, the further it deviates from what is conventionally considered reasonable, and the less a film makes sense, the less able it is to escape controversy. Stories with a delirious, fanciful constitution, which swing between the incredulity of farce and the harshness of reality, must redouble their efforts to guarantee the respect and confidence of the spectator, who often also resents stories so little imprints of naturalness, despite having as raw material events that can take place in anyone’s life. Professional difficulties, the illness of a loved one, postponed dreams of which you never know when they will finally return to the agenda – and if they will indeed return -, the energy wasted trying to manage this whole process, are stones that pop up in the way of anyone who dares to have a life of their own, but a real life, not a bunch of assumptions about what someone once claimed was the right thing to think, to do , aiming for a previously stipulated result. The less predictable, the more reality becomes palpable.

The mystery in ‘The Last Thing He Wanted’ spirals almost out of control and it’s a tough job for director Dee Rees to spin the plot on its own axis, even as she recklessly flirts with what could turn into horror. other plots. Blending a journalistic investigative intrigue into an international arms trade with suspense that leans towards the fantastical, but ends up staying effortlessly in a more naturalistic direction, excelling sometimes for believable, sometimes for daydreaming. So much love for experimentation definitely did not reach the viewer’s heart at the Sundance Film Festival, when it was presented to the public on January 30, 2020, perhaps because it never allows the public to relax and find out what the next offers will be. The screenplay by Rees, Marco Villalobos and Joan Didion (1934-2021), based on Didion’s book of the same name, published in Brazil by Record in 1999, goes from detail to detail without ever lingering long on anything. , which leads to two basic approaches and two ways to receive functionality. Firstly, it is thought to be possible to move forward from one sequence to another without understanding exactly what the trio of screenwriters meant, given the gaps that remain at certain points in the story, a premise that s quickly turns out to be wrong. Then, as soon as we realize that by leaving between the lines of the film without at least an effort to absorb the intention of what is told – and, above all, why we are telling it -, we deduces that everything can remain even more obscure. Therefore, any caution is of little.

Still in the introduction, it is clear that journalist Elena McMahon is going through some hardships. After covering popular uprisings during the civil war in El Salvador, Central America, violently repelled by the police and armed forces in 1982, McMahon, a good work by Anne Hathaway, returns to the United States with her colleague Alma, from Rosie Perez, escaping the siege of the Salvadoran authorities, who saw them as reinforcing the atmosphere of conflagration in the country, in a gesture which, due to her audacity, humiliates her persecutors. The two return to work as normally as possible at the “Atlantic Post”, while McMahon dreams of returning to the Caribbean country, but two years later the protagonist’s career has stalled and the best she can do is stay at the United States, now responsible for reporting on presidential elections. Recovering from breast cancer, raising her daughter alone after a rumored divorce, and struggling with her father, Richard, involved in arms trafficking – a confused participation of Willem Dafoe -, the situation of the anti- Hathaway’s heroine goes off the rails every time. , in part because of Richard’s resurgence in her life. It is through him that he meets mobster Jones, played by Edi Gathegi, and his counterpart, CIA agent Treat Morrison, a cast interpretation of the almost always cast-in-place Ben Affleck. McMahon’s downfall is to think that, despite his talent, he can entangle such powerful men, each in an underworld specter, a passage that opens up somewhat pointless discussions about women’s place in the workforce, especially in such a hostile world. activity. . Proof of this is that he manages to resume his story about the conflicts in El Salvador, despite the fact that he has to submit to the interference of Paul Schuster, the expatriate with whom he seems to develop a friendship, until the plot takes a turn. Two wounded beings whose destiny is marked by intolerance.


Film: The last thing he wanted
Direction:
Dee-Ree
Year: 2020
Gender: Mystery/Drama
To note: 8/10

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