The Darkest Sorrows
25 Oct 2021
Margaux Colarusso, Raytan R.K. Rawling, Patrick Delandtsheer, Veronique Salme
A father and his daughter go to their holiday home in the countryside, hoping to recover after a terrible tragedy. Unfortunately, things turn very sinister.
Devastated from the aftermath of a fatal car crash that ended the life of his wife, Daniel (Rawling) and his daughter Iris (Colarusso) drive to an isolated property that they own with the intention of spending some time there by themselves and finding some peace. At first they talk and try to comfort each other, however Daniel becomes less and less able to control his emotions and begins drinking. Eventualy, he blames Iris for her mother's death, resulting in verbal and physical confrontations.
This multiple award-winning feature is the directoria debut by Gotto and it begins as a poignant drama about loss and grief, gradually turning into a psychological thriller. The atmosphere is rather dark and the main focus is the unstable relationship between Daniel and Iris, which goes from bad to worse as he becomes more and more hostile towards her. There is a lot of drama and tension, scenes of confrontation, heartbreaking scenes, violence and nail-biting moments. Flashbacks offer a glimpse into the lives of the protagonists prior to the accident. There are also brief moments of tenderness, although there appears to be little hope that things are going to turn out OK.
As the story progresses, spoken words become less and less frequent, in fact the final thirty minutes contain almost not words at all, relying on the actors' silent performances.
Both leads deliver award-winning performances and they are outstanding. They both portray individuals whose lives have been deeply affected by the loss of a loved one. Rawling is terrific as a person who is struggling hard to come to terms with the passing of his wife and fills himself with rage, which he turns against his daughter. Colarusso is emotional as a fragile young person who becomes a victim to her father's rage.
The cinematography by Gotto looks amazing and gives the film a downbeat look. Composers Ricardo Rodriguez and Rawling develop music that is dramatic, tense and melancholic and utilises sounds of piano and violin effectively. Slow motion is used in order to create dramatic scenes and there are beautiful establishing shots of landscapes.
This is a rather bleak film that takes the audience down a dark tunnel, where there appears to be no light. It is filled with negative feelings and observes how two broken individuals can snap. It is not a comfortable viewing, however it is a viewing worth experiencing.