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Saudade [2012] Review – Visual Symphony of Static and Dynamic

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Saudade (2012) – Visual symphony of static and dynamic

You and your friends plan to go to the beach. You reach there. You play with water and then you settle down in the mud. You make jokes, witter for a while. Then you look at the water waves and a phase of silence sets in.

Later you all start back home.

Why does nature, after a point, starts out in us — a phase (small or big) of silence. And what goes on in our mind during that period?

In Saudade, Rosseau beautifully photographs these transient moments irrespective of whether it is surrounded by natural surroundings or not.

It is set in what seems to be a cafe. We have 5 separate parts alternatively running as if it’s a musical piece.

The first is about a guy who is trying to read a book. He flicks it and falls asleep. Wakes up again, try to read the book, but his mind wanders. Later he leaves the place.

Second is about a group of workers who decorate the chandelier, move chairs and tables. It is mainly composed of the noise that these make.

The third part is about an old man who sits in different positions in front of a big mirror and watches himself. The visual analogy to our habit of introspecting, and musing about existential aspects is clearly evident.

Next place is the terrace of the cafe, with a view of the sea. Where we see different people at various points. Silently observing, in deep thinking, or casually talking with their friends.

Next is the quintessential cafe-scene, where we get to see many people chatting and eating.

Also, Read – Train of Shadows [1997] A Rich Tribute to Visual Capacity of Cinema

What is noteworthy is that except one ( that is of the old man sitting in front of a mirror) none of it seems staged.

As if the camera just captured what was happening normally in the place. And what we get is a clear juxtaposition of movement and stillness, between sound and silence.

I have used Saudade here in a more universal and existential part of each of us, something that is connected to cosmos, than it is usually defined – with fellow human feelings.

And Rosseau beautifully finishes the film with a man in a terrace crooning out a song.

That perhaps is the token of gratitude we can show for our existence on earth.

We may not crack the Rosetta stone of existence, but we are at least grateful for a short tryst with life, particularly for those silent phases.

Watch Saudade on YouTube

Saudade Links – IMDb

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