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GRAVIDAM (2022) Film Review

★★★★★


Directed by: #BrandonGotto

Written by: #BrandonGotto


 

After experiencing a tragic event, a couple struggles to navigate the emotional aftermath as well as come to terms with the outcome of their own relationship.


GRAVIDAM (2022) is a one hour feature by Belgium director, Brandon Gotto, whose independent film is intended to offer an intense experience about the abyss of mourning to spectators who view it. The movie is yet to be released and has an expected completion date of January 23rd, but has already received a positive reception at film festivals, winning Best Feature and Best Actress at the RED movie awards. The film is an incredible achievement in dramatic storytelling and visual presentation, combining a sense of domestic horror and family drama to create a truly immersive, yet equally as disturbing viewing experience.


GRAVIDAM (2022) film poster

A suspenseful, foreboding tone is immediately established during the film’s opening credits, with a heavy, oppressive score by Antoine Ligas accompanying striking red text. We are introduced to our leads, Rose (Colarusso) and Antoine (Gomrée), waking up together in bed and marvelling over their unborn child. Brandon Gotto expresses an admirable artistic flair behind the camera, with every shot in the film shown to have clear purpose and underlying intentions for plot beats later. The overall visual and audio quality of the movie is orchestrated to perfection and we get a very real sense of who Rose and Antoine are, with their excitement for their baby demonstrated through lovingly prepared nursery features and a displayed photograph of their latest ultrasound.

However, the couple encounter a problem with Rose’s visiting mother (Annick Cornette), who disapproves of her daughter’s relationship and constantly finds ways to belittle both Rose and Antoine. The subtle build in heavy tension soon leads to one of the most shocking, harrowing scenes in the film when Rose experiences severe pain in her abdomen which leads to a miscarriage during the night. Gotto increasingly uses and refers back to the visual motif of the colour red throughout the film, appearing during this sequence and various others when Rose suffers from awful nightmares following the personal tragedy.


The film charts the slow decline of her mental and physical health, as well as her crumbling relationships with her seemingly unsympathetic mother and distant partner, who cannot seem to understand Rose’s severe trauma following her miscarriage and simply insists she needs medical treatment. The nightmarish, unnatural visual of the undeveloped baby haunts both Rose and the viewer throughout the movie and we become very much aligned with Rose, understanding her need to bury the remains of her baby in the garden. A bleak, foreboding tone persists throughout, which only worsens as Rose becomes increasingly isolated and distanced from Antoine, who violates her choice to bury the box by taking it away to burn instead. Gotto incorporates disturbing horror elements into a very tragic, intimately personal narrative with the depiction of Rose’s unsettling nightmares and her mind attempting to cope with her loss by villainising Antoine and her mother.


The increasing sense of dread and gloom all come to a crescendo during a very intense climatic sequence, with harrowing graphic visuals which is punctuated by a perfectly in sync score, as the red motif saturates the frame. Rose’s immense struggle with coping with her extreme loss and her isolation from those around her is captured incredibly by Margaux Colarusso, who manages to convey so much with few words. Both Gomrée and Cornette also deliver great performances in their respective roles, each embodying the villainised depictions of their characters well.


All in all, GRAVIDAM delivers on its premise of offering an intense viewing experience for spectators, presenting an intelligent, shocking and moving examination of a couple falling apart after experiencing a tragic event. The filmmaking is on point throughout, with excellent direction from Gotto and impressive work from everyone involved: an inspirational achievement.

 

GRAVIDAM (2022) trailer:


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