Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021: Our Review of ‘The Edge of Daybreak’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies by - October 19, 2021
Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021: Our Review of ‘The Edge of Daybreak’

Time passes, although the evidence of that might or might not present itself depending on where people look. Most of the time, it does. They show this either by what people left behind, or films showing them moving through time and space. Or on the opposite side of things, nature has a way of showing us how glacial time can be. That’s pretty much the thesis statement of many festival films including The Edge of Daybreak, about a Thai man, Parl, goes into political exile during the mid-2000s, and the fallout that causes with different members of his family.

Edge shows the mental state of a family and even a nation through Parl’s modern-ish exurb home, a place that he protects with barbed wire but has a new mix of growing foliage, dead animals, and general decay. Witnessing that decay are two of his family members, his brother (Chalad Na Songkhla) and his wife Pailin (Manatsanun Panlertwongskul). I previously noted the skill of another movie in capturing actors reacting to things. But that takes a certain skill that is absent here. The film also doesn’t give its characters enough meat, frustrating viewers by giving its characters a passive quality.

Characterization is not an asset in Edge. Although in fairness, its biggest asset it its black and white cinematography, which is at different times ornate and detailed. There’s also a lot of power it its use of shadows. There’s a scene that shows Parl’s return but only as a silhouette. But another part of me feels like this is a shortcut. And worse, that it detaches Parl from the viewers who want to connect to him. He spends that scene revealing things. But that feels like a soliloquy more than it does an organic piece of dialogue humans say.

Catch The Edge of Daybreak on FNC’s online platform until October 30th. Use the following link.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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