A Mexican woman fleeing deadly violence and a traumatized veteran fall in love while on the run from the authorities. Carmen Reimagines Bizet’s classic operas as a surreal journey of musical drama and dance. Renowned French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, in his first feature film, eschews the traditional narrative of immersive fiction. The film is best described as a feverish dream experience that blurs the boundaries of reality. It doesn’t always work and it gets confusing at times, but the sheer creativity on display is great to behold. Talented leads light up the screen with electrochemistry.
A car drives towards an isolated steel house in the harsh Mexican desert – drug cartel hitmen are looking for Carmen (Melissa Barrera). Her daring mother, Zila (Marina Tamayo), dances flamenco on a plank in defiance. She pays the ultimate price for her bravery as a hidden Carmen watches in grief and fear. The house burns to the ground as she walks into the horizon with a backpack full of meager possessions. She soon encounters a smuggler willing to take her and other desperate others to the American frontier.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Aiden (Paul Mescal) is cooking burgers at a barbecue. He drinks Pepsi while avoiding flirting with another man’s wife. Aidan plays the guitar and sings alone that night. His sister (Nicole Da Silva) begs him for a job, so Aidan decides to accept an invitation from Mike (Benedict Hardy) to guard the border. They want experienced soldiers, and he needs the money. Carmen It develops from there.
Fate drew them together
Carmen and a group of hungry, exhausted immigrants crawl under the border fence. They are met by the bright lights of a pickup truck. Mike spews elemental poison as he shoots indiscriminately. He has Carmen in his sights but doesn’t get the chance; She races to the truck and drives away in terror. Aidan chases after her and jumps in the back. Brought together by fate, the man and woman must now think about the next step.
Carmen opens with a beautiful slow-motion shot of Carmen and Aiden running around in pitch black. The voice-over narration by Masilda (Rossi de Palma) speaks poetically in Spanish of broken men and loyal women who give their all. Millepied predicts a tragic love story with hallucinatory imagery, then cuts to the foundational scene of her mother taunting Dirty. This oscillation between dreams and perceived reality follows no pattern. The audience must connect the dots and fill in the gaps that are not explained. It’s a distinctly hit-and-miss art style, with the audience teetering between amazement and fascination like a ping-pong ball.
Millepied’s elaborate dance sequences dazzle. Carmen spins and turns throughout the movie with the guys supporting and Aidan smitten. His choreography is not intentionally fluid or overly graceful. Aidan is defined by raw masculinity, his character tempered by Carmen’s graceful femininity. His manly presence intoxicates her. Barrera and Mescal have a fiery connection that eases the collar, and hearts will be flooding from their steamy romance.
Never a straight road in Carmen
Carmen Embracing its vision like a charged bull, the millipede never takes a straight path. While some parts feel indulgent when the standard show is more cohesive, it’s only somewhat impressive and understandable. The goal is not to quickly feed a traditional story. finally, Carmen It is an unrepentant art film.
Carmen It is a production from Chapter 2, Goalpost Pictures, TF1 Studio, France 2 Cinéma and Marvelous Productions. It is currently in a limited theatrical release from Sony Pictures Classics.