Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 52m
Director(s): Elena Martín Gimeno
Writer(s): Elena Martín Gimeno, Clara Roquet
Cast: Elena Martín Gimeno, Oriol Pla, Clara Segura, Alex Brendemühl, Clàudia Malagelada, Mila Borràs, Carla Linares, Marc Cartany
Language: Catalan with English subtitles
Where To Watch: premiering May 20 at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival
RAVING REVIEW: CREATURA is a film, unlike anything I’ve experienced before! A coming-of-age style film at its core and one that examines the heart and soul of Mila (the adult version is portrayed by director/writer Elena Martín Gimeno.) The film takes us on a journey while she battles with a love life, gradually losing its spark and her exploration into the unexplored world of who she is and healing scars from the past.
As we navigate Mila's life in chapters, flashing from different moments that piece together who she has become, it's as if we're in a time machine of introspection. Her struggles, victories, and exploration of desire and bodily acceptance all serve as beacons, illuminating the murky waters of our life choices, the relationships we've created, and the life-altering moments that have sculpted our personalities.
CREATURA is like a cryptic puzzle for its audience to solve. It dares us to delve into the complexities of our past, understand the evolution of our desires, and connect the dots that, despite being scattered across our life's timeline, unite to mold us into who we are today.
The visual poetry and captivating dialogue of CREATURA stitch together an intriguing photo that is as compelling as creative. The filmmakers' use of cinematic language, from potent pauses to revealing gazes, from shadowy outlines to vivid imageries, nudges us through the narrative. Every meticulously crafted scene and every actor's interaction begs us to explore deeper into the labyrinth of Mila's world.
CREATURA's cast – an ensemble of artists who masterfully bring different versions of Mila to life and those around her throughout her life. Each stage of her life is rendered with a unique touch, and together they construct the elaborate puzzle of Mila's life. The movie will force you to celebrate and beg you to feel the most profound emotions you can imagine as it demonstrates cinema's immersive and transformative power.
Writer/Director/Star of the film Elena Martín Gimeno explains that their storytelling explores female identity and how our sexual maturation and desires shape our development. Along with co-writer Clara Roquet, Gimeno used some moments with a therapist that unveiled the complex relationship between sexual growth, mental evolution, and personality formation to help craft this narrative. She emphasizes the often-ignored gap between childhood and adolescence – a dormant period where our desires, suppressed by societal norms, lay waiting for awakening.
CREATURA is divided into nondescript chapters, almost like a novel in motion. Gimeno explained that one of the main focal points for the film was to have these moments throughout Mila’s life be individual and specific to those periods of her mental and emotional growth, from exploring things not understood as a child to demanding satisfaction as an adult.
While it's easy to assume that the director's personal experiences have heavily influenced CREATURA, it's more of a collective narrative than a memoir. Along with co-writer Clara Roquet, the director weaves stories from interviews on sexual education and various experiences into the narrative. These narratives enrich CREATURA's layered exploration of sexuality at different stages in life.
The film explores many of the challenges we encounter in nurturing a healthy sexual relationship, as it demands that the audience understands more of their hurdles in life. CREATURA catalyzes personal reflection and transformation. While some may find this film hard to watch at times, it ultimately asks questions that need to be answered and are done so without hesitation.
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[photo courtesy of THE PR FACTORY/VILAÜT FILMS/LUXBOX]