The Worst Person in the World (N/F/S/DK 2021): Review: Artechock

Miss Julie

A Paradoxical Existence: Joachim Trier tells the story of the maturation of a young woman

“Oh, I’m so tired. I can’t do anything, I can’t repent, I can’t escape, I can’t stay, I can’t live, I can’t die! Now help me! I pray and I will obey like a dog!” – August Strindberg, Miss Julie

In the beginning, there is an image that the film eventually returns to after returning to the story: a young woman in an evening dress on a hill, perhaps on a balcony, above a larger city, which, as we soon know, is Oslo.

Software image: a young man of our present, dressed in pioneering bourgeois clothing, submissively conservative, not yet old, but shaped by the desire to be seen as an adult, equipped with all possibilities, elevated above the rest of the world; His face is innocent of expressionless, without any trace of life left in him, because existential seriousness does not exist in this young man.
Will it then be found in the film’s life path? Or is the seriousness and the crisis only dyed? Not only from the script, but also in the self-perception of this young man, who we can consider a representative of his generation in the sense of the director.
Is this even a human? Or is it more than just a temporary standoff for all kinds of ideas from the two who wrote the script?

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This film tells the story of the title character, a 24-year-old girl named Julie, in twelve chapters. The title – “The Worst Person Alive” – ​​is meant, of course, ironically, and refers to the self-esteem of the young man who has not yet found his way and struggles with himself; But it’s also about the perceptions that we have viewers have of her in the cinema, at least at first: Jolie is so annoying because she doesn’t know what she wants, because she does every 5 minutes and starts something completely different.
At first she wanted to become a doctor, then a psychologist, then a photographer. yes what now? One would like to call her increasingly impatient.

“When was life really supposed to start?” Soon the narrator asks on behalf of Julie, her rhetorical question upsetting the obvious fact that she has already begun. At least when the movie starts.

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She’s almost a social chameleon. If attention is not directed to her alone, for once, she feels uncomfortable and quickly disappears, only to satisfy this helplessness elsewhere. It is also suitable, like parasites, to infiltrate parties to which it is not invited. Simply to get acquainted with the lives of others, to experience them like a suit which, if not suitable, is quickly discarded. Life as a game, like juggling the variables.
By itself, nothing can be said against such an aesthetic relationship to existence, as long as it also does not include other people who suffer from it when they realize that they have settled for a short time, it was only a background for the narcissist for a short time another game.
Julie is, at least at the beginning of this film, a pure venomous femininity, a woman who seduces, playing, a “loose cannon” who can also cause pain to herself at any time, but above all to others.

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So she ends her relationship with a comic book writer without any valid reason in favor of an acquaintance. This also goes wrong.
All this leaves very few traces in the main character’s cheerful and sad mind.

Life in potential is better than it actually is.

However, the model on which this young woman is designed is not Ulrich, the elegant, supremely elegant man and potential gentleman in his lack of qualities of Robert Musil’s “The Man Without Attributes”, but Strindberg’s heroine of the same name “Miss Julie”, a supremely unconcerned daughter , but with a little crazy servants, too.

It’s not so much about a sense of possibility as about despair and insecurity, it’s not about sovereign disposition and playing with identities, and it’s not about “liberal irony” in Richard Rorty’s sense.
At 25, the Julie in this movie is the same age as “Miss Julie” Strindberg, and she’s a tomboy too, a bit manly in her demeanor and in her looks, she takes the utopian promises of pop and art very seriously.

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At first, it seems that this combination of insane seriousness and Generation Z’s inability to commit to anything, and a compulsive need to constantly question and put everything in order, not least itself, that something productive can arise from it. Julie started writing, and her online writing had some success. But nothing is spreading as fast as “oral sex in the age of #MeToo”. But nothing follows that either, except for a few in the audience laughing at the expense of the zeitgeist.

The worst person in the world A modern blend of drama and comedy about the search for love and meaning in today’s Oslo. For this role, Rinat Renzvi was awarded the “Best Actor” award at Cannes.

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Director Joachim Trier is a self-confident filmmaker with his own signature. His film is brilliantly presented using Nouvelle Vague’s means: leaps in time and frozen images in which only the main character moves – delightful film moments that break with tradition. This isn’t really new, but it is borrowed from the musicals by Stanley Donen and Jack Demme. but whatever. One of the best and most sympathetic elements of this utterly indecisive film is this Nouvelle Vague romance, which zigzags between moods and possibilities in an odd way.
But it’s also the only scene where the world stands completely for a few minutes, and only Julie and her future lover dance among people frozen like mannequins and completely alone in a quiet world, it’s this scene quoted in all reviews, even the least heartfelt.
Unfortunately, this does not apply to the entire film, but rather the exception. Trier is one of those movies one would like to find good without reservations, but it doesn’t quite succeed in doing so.

Trier is trying to get in The worst person in the world At the same time he is reviving the “romantic comedy” genre that has recently become quite worn out. In the increasingly insecure present, there seems to be more room for their utopian promises, and the bleak realism of the academically brilliant, in all respects, is no longer very popular.

With great elegance, Trier plays with games of seduction and with the forms and means of cinema, while his film gradually abandons comedy and turns towards drama.

The twelve chapters that define the stages of the protagonist’s life are above all the chronicle of a generation still on the cusp of adulthood.

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But the Norwegian does something completely different: on the character of Jolie’s longtime partner, comedian author Axel, who at the end of the film is the same age as the director when the film was finished, 20 years older than his girlfriend, and who is undoubtedly Trier’s alter ego, describes Trier is also the lifestyle of many people who are no longer young but not yet grown up: “I grew up in a time without the internet and cell phones,” says Axel. “I know I look like an old bastard. But the world I knew no longer existed. I vanished. I grew up at a time when culture was transmitted through things.

Some boredom of the world, the present as it is today. Also with the younger ones, who are envied for their age at best, but not their life, their knowledge (less), and their chances (least). And the sentimentality of people between the ages of 40 and 60 today, is slowly slipping away from time, slowly seeing the world they grew up in disappear. At the same time her will to fight so as not to disappear and regain this world.

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The fragmented nature of the film’s dramatic structure allows us to feel the passing of the years through Jolie’s fingers.
The film rarely bothers to acknowledge the existence of progress and modernity, including the Internet, or to seriously consider how much it expands the possibilities of flirting with new jobs and with complete strangers.

Julie is a character from the early twentieth century, a somewhat disgruntled liberal character who has many plans that often fail because she only manipulates risk but avoids it when it gets serious. She is, after all, very conservative: men represent life plans, cocktail dress for growth, and ultimately solve major problems, that is, the decision between men and the question of children.

In the final twenty minutes, the film applauds its candidness with philosophical lessons that we’re all happy to agree with, but it’s as affordable as the camera Jolie eventually uses to put her distance from life, and with it stability.

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