Peace of mind is difficult to find. That’s the central theme to Sebastien Higgins’ Ta Planete Natale. The person behind Cinefranco’s website describes this as a romantic film. The fact that its protagonists are in their late teens might turn some viewers off. But there’s both a cultural specificity and deconstructive approach here. To specify what I mean about cultural specificity, it uses the Franco-Ontarian community as its setting. And this might just be the first film I’ve seen that represents this community.
With its approach, the film starts with a prologue about its two young lovers talking about eventually drifting apart. And it jumps to its first act where they don’t even interact with each other, which is interesting. The first of the lovers is Nathan (Samuel Glaude). He keeps finding himself within the bs that his brother Patrick (Felix Rioux) keeps making. Higgins then switches to Nathan’s love interest Maripier (Celia Fournier-Cantin). She has a coworker Gaelle (Kaniya Jean), and they support each other through their drama. Keeping them apart for half of the film is a tightrope walk. That’s because actors have to build that chemistry on screen.
But all Glaude and Fournier-Cantin really need are two scenes. There, they establish how much they know each other as members of their community. And they don’t even have to say anything, the film captures these actors’ body language to cement their characters’ relationship. Regardless of them being together or apart on any scene, their individual charisma stands out. This makes memorable stamps on viewers’ brains. That’s specifically true when in moments when they can’t rely on their natural looks. When they do something ugly, human, yet totally watchable. And regardless of whether or not their romance lasts, the actors and Higgins show their talent in this film.
Catch Ta Planete Natale on Cinefranco’s 2021 digital platform.