A Fantastic Woman (2017)
written by Souranath Banerjee
A Fantastic Woman Review: Love is an empty word without respect but the real question is how much disrespect can one endure for the sake of his/her love?
My Ratings: 4/5
A Fantastic Woman originally titled as Una Mujer Fantástica is a film directed by Sebastián Lelio, one of the most prominent figures of the post-dictatorship Chilean cinema. And his latest is this years’s official submission from Chile at the 90th Annual Academy Awards for the Foreign Language Film Award!
The idea of a man who chooses to become a woman, to live and die as a woman and wishes to be loved and treated like one is something that often people cannot accept without a certain hint of prejudice. And this is the touching story of a trans-woman named Marina, a young night club singer who aspires in this brutal society to live her life with as much dignity as any other human being.
She is in relationship with an older man named Orlando (Francisco Reyes). They are happy and in love but again that doesn’t guarantee that their romantic liaison will be wholeheartedly accepted and/or respected by others, especially by Orlando’s direct family (his ex-wife and a prick of a son).
And thus after the sudden demise of Orlando, Marina has to go through a series of humiliating and degrading events that made her fight for her self respect, her pride and also for the rights for her lost love.
Daniela Vega who is a trans-woman in real life played the central character in the film with surprising efficiency. Most of her inner strength is expressed through her eyes – a brave soul with immense determination and yet so emotionally vulnerable, ready to face all the odds for the one who she loved so dearly!
And very intelligent storytelling by director Sebastián Lelio as he keeps the film very real, not once opting for any overdramatic cliches and providing just enough information to keep the viewers hooked through the otherwise pretty straightforward linear script.
Certainly the best transgender drama of recent times; this is the story of a woman who doesn’t allow anybody to dictate terms in her life, a woman of integrity, bold yet compassionate, sensual yet devoted – yes, she is indeed a fantastic woman!