Movies

The Indie Movie That Explains Why You Don't Need Recognition To Be Happy

Movies The Indie Movie That Explains Why You Don't Need Recognition To Be Happy



Frances Ha is an independent movie that deals with dilemmas young people face nowadays: they tend to believe that prosperity will eventually come in the form success, but they soon realize the world doesn't work that way. This black-and-white movie is an apology for the most fanciful generation since the sixties' baby boomers.  

 An inevitable question for most people is "How can I find happiness?" Because there is no absolute answer, many can live in perpetual anguish. Since adolescence, people look for ways to reach happiness, making decisions that should in theory lead to a peaceful, relaxed, and joyful life. But truth is, life is uncertain and no one ever knows what the future will bring. What makes things worst is that life seems unreal; there's no way to know whether happiness will come or not.


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This film was directed by the independent cinema genius, Noah Baumbach (the mind behind The Squid and the Whale, also known for his collaborations with Wes Anderson). The movie follows Frances, a girl living in Brooklyn with her best friend and soul mate, Sophie. Frances is a dancer who aspires to produce her own work and gain recognition through it, but everything crumbles when the people around her seem to finally mature, whereas she is still uncertain about her path and facing economic hardships.


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Baumbach blends influences from French cinema with a vibrant soundtrack to create scenes portraying Frances' euphoria. Greta Gerwick plays the part perfectly, and her dance style also matches the European style of the director. 

Just like in the script for The Squid and the Whale, Noah delves into the character's motivations and their facades. The main character serves as a mirror to the audience and becomes a medium to unmask a fake reality. Her expressions of discomfort, confusion, and desperation as she comes face to face with a world that is moving forward, leaving her behind. 
Those people who said they'd never marry, end up tying the knot, and friendship that were thought to last forever are broken.  All those dramatic events are portrayed with honesty, so they're not clichés. This work reveals the true nature of its characters through the dialogue and this is how spectators can empathize with France's pain. 


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The way Baumbach shot the film steers the audience's attention towards the conversations and their subtleties, so at the end they feel as if they are a close friend of the characters. The camera focuses on small details that allude to unspoken dialogues and the hidden meaning behind the characters' words. In the end, we all become a version of Frances and start to wonder: "How can I find happiness?"


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This is not a pretentious movie like others in its genre. We don't get to see deep character development, or a character who gets a stroke of luck or a revelation that unveils their destiny. We see, instead, lost and misguided people with a lack of understanding about themselves. The movie also explains the influence that culture and the social context have in each person and how, after facing these obstacles, they might change their definition of happiness or give up its pursuit forever. Baumbach also emphasizes how the decisions you make from your twenties to your thirties don't necessarily define your life to come.

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If this film had to be described with a single world, it would be "dance." It is a fascinating sequence of coordinated movements. The music matches every single sequence, and the energy the actors deliver in their performance is what gives color to the gray scale of this movie. This is the peak of Noah Baumbach's career and this film rightfully deserves to become a cult films.


 
Frances Ha does not not intend to define how a person finds happiness. It's an excellent work that contributes to the boldness of Indie Cinema. It's vision is neither too white or too dark, but a reflection of life and the whole spectrum of anguish many people constantly suffer. It is hard to know which path to take to find happiness, but at least, it is comforting to know that it will eventually arrive, or maybe it has been by our side all this time, and we hadn't even noticed. 





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Check these films by Almodovar and the way they portray women. 
Have you ever heard about trash cinema?

Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia

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