TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Murina’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2021 by - September 12, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Murina’

Teenage Julija (Gracia Filipovic) and her mother Nela (Danica Curcic) watch their patriarch Ante (Leon Lucev), a Croatian sea creature hunter selling off his seaside home. His mark is Javier (Cliff Curtis), a multimillionaire he somehow landed as a friend decades back. Nela says that Ante needs the money and that it will calm him down. Julija, on the other hand, predicts that the money will make him worse, inferring that money just turns people in bigger version of himself. Selling of the land has been a terrible dog and pony show. Ante, oblivious to his own boorish behavior, blames Julia for every misstep of the sale. In retaliation, Julija pushes Nela on Javier. When that doesn’t work, she goes wild and pushes herself.

“Life in paradise is not what it seems” is a pitch in both reality shows and art films, and I’ve done enough back and forth at what it’s like to have Julija as the center here. Separate from Ante, her own brand of erratic behavior is, like all fictional erratic behavior, a watchable high wire act. But some of the moves she makes are enough to make viewers scream. There’s a part of me that wishes she was smarter, and the consequences of her actions don’t have the complexity that even the best primetime TV has. That said, Tom said that festivals bring Antonioni copycats. This flows faster and is has more snaps to its beats, and it has its own sets of enigmatic mysteries.

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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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