Second Star on the Right [InsideOut Review]

The festival in a way is over for me. I’ve seen 7 films in the theatre and there are four more screeners to make my way to, which also means way more writing for me to do. I’ve so far seen a variety of great things at the festival, and a few parts or maybe one film I didn’t enjoy. Which is a fairly great ratio when it comes to a festival. I know I’m speaking early about that, but I’m also going to speak early on the fact that I don’t see myself falling more in love with a film than I did with Second Star on the Right.

Take a look at the image above and bathe in the gorgeous black and white photography that is found throughout the film. They play with colour in a way that reminds me of how Xavier Dolan played with aspect ratio in Mommy. It comes in such bursting moments that I felt just such immense joy, but also allows you to live with the characters a bit more. It’s clear that director Ruth Caudeli (Eva + Candela) wants to be aware of the grays and understand it’s not black and white, even if it feels like it. Due to the repetition of life, and all of our ups and downs, we often get lost in the mundane. We feel sluggish having to settle and not struggle with our dreams and passions. Maybe because in some way it evokes memories of my experience with Frances Ha as we try to discuss the feeling of being lost in your twenties or thirties, but to acknowledge that if you’re on a path, all could work out.

The acting is impeccable, as a lot of the film is improvised – especially within the core friends – it still is clear you can feel this everlasting bond has gone through their own ups and downs but support is there. Through this film, we have our hero Emilia who often not makes us question our own and their loyalty to her. She’s not perfect, and sometimes she can’t commit or fully respect her girlfriend (or friend, as she refers to her) and friends. She is at all times, who we are, who we wish we could be, and who we wish we weren’t all in one.

I don’t want to say no more to spoil some of the moments that had me tearing up from the choices Ruth made, but I’ll tell you the plot doesn’t matter. It’s clear that Emilia is stuck in a cycle and we watch her go through it wishing she would learn and grow up, but it’s clear that she wasn’t ready just yet.

There’s nothing wrong with having another film to tell the world that if you’re lost on a path, it’s still okay as long as you stay on one. I’m hoping to be able to see this one again and share it with friends.