TL;DR – A short film that explores the important bond between people
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
When it comes to films, if it can get to that core emotional note and thus resonate on that deep level, well that will always hit that much harder for me as a viewer. This is because if the emotions work, then so much more of the film will flow from there. Today we explore a short film that knows this and focuses in on it as the core of the film.
So to set the scene, Viktoria (Eva Johansson) lives her life in a wheelchair and needs around the clock support to live her life. During the day, her assistant Ida (Madeleine Martin) was walking through the park when they run into Ida’s boyfriend Björn (Joel Ödmann). Later that day, Viktoria admits that she feels alone. So Ida sets her up with a Tinder profile to find someone.
While the core narrative difficulty in this film is Ida meeting up with a romantic partner, the relationship the film is actively exploring is the one between Viktoria and Ida. However, while that gives you the groundwork to go in a shallow almost substanceless direction, this is not the direction Alive chooses. Indeed there are times when this is a difficult film to watch, like when Björn and Ida immediately other Viktoria when they meet, almost ignoring that she is there.
It is here where the film works the best and also where it holds itself back a little. The bond between the two women is a difficult one because there is an overlap between friend, carer, employee, and almost parent. This means that it is a relationship that does not fit neatly into our and the character’s world. It is here where the emotional conflict occurs but also emotional catharsis. There are times when this film is really sad and unflinching like when it juxtaposes two lives side by side. However, it is also a film filled with awkwardness, charm, anger, and humour.
This is a film that is exploring an interesting emotional bond between two women, but as we go on, I think focuses a bit too heavily on the Ida side of the relationship. It is also exploring a very real issue and that is how people with a disability have romantic and physical relationships. It can be very detrimental to your wellbeing constantly feeling alone and it can do some real hurt so it was good to see someone explore this.
In the end, do we recommend Alive? Yes, I think we do. It is not a perfect film, but it is exploring something really important. It also really nails the emotion side of the equation. If you liked Alive, we would also recommend Djali.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Alive
Directed by – Jimmy Olsson
Written by – Jimmy Olsson
Music by – Peter Gregson & Thomas Henley
Cinematography by – Staffan Övgård
Edited by – Anton Nilsson
Production/Distribution Companies – Makeriet & Distribution with Glasses
Starring – Eva Johansson, Madeleine Martin, Jimmy Olsson, Philip Oros & Joel Ödmann
Rating – Around an Australia: M;