Erotic isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind in every other film about post-partum depression, but it’s here in Javier Andrade’s Lo Invisible. It’s not just me projecting. The woman experiencing that neuro divergent phenomenon is an Euro-Ecuadorian woman, Luisa (Anahi Hoeneisen). There’s a scene here where she kisses her husband, but he pulls back because she’s the one who gets too violent. Scenes line this examine the blurry lines between eroticism and longing and self-harm. All those three emotions and tendencies come to the surface in a place that’s surprisingly appropriate. Most of the film takes place in Luisa’s postmodern house somewhere in the woods. It’s this artificiality, perhaps, that makes one want to reach out to nearest body or to scream.
Lo Invisible’s pacing comes in waves. There are scenes like that kissing one that feels less like it’s jolting the viewer and more like somebody turning the volume dial up, slowly but surely. Then there are others where it shows Luisa’s staff, especially Rosa (Matilde Lagos), clean a random room. This is one of many films where there’s a lot of filler even though it has a short running time. And it all leads to a party that reminds us of Mrs. Dalloway but in Ecuador. Another reference that popped into my head while watching this was It’s a Wonderful Life. It conjures a scenario where the protagonist slipping away. There’s mixed messages in the execution here but it’s also uniquely haunting.