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welcome, violeta

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‘Welcome, Violeta!’ review: Blurring fiction and reality

Great storytelling.

Welcome, Violeta explores the relationship between the artist and their work. The film focuses on an actress named Ana (Debora Falabella) who is trying to complete her novella Violeta. Ana immerses herself in the teachings of Holden (Dario Grandinetti) who feels artists should abandon their own identities and lives as their characters. The lines between fiction and reality are soon blurred.

The setting makes for a methodically paced plot. The majority takes place at a writer’s workshop at a large house in the Andes. In order to effectively build the tension and drama, director Fernando Fraiha has to introduce and explore the world of Welcome, Violeta. This is done through great cinematography and storytelling. The film is allowed to breathe allowing full immersion for anyone who watches.

Falabella and Grandinetti are excellent in their roles. Ana is trying to get over a creative crisis. She is frustrated, desperate, and doubts her own abilities. Holden is a charismatic force and it does not take long to see why others are willing to listen to him without question. The two have some powerful scenes together and propel the plot forward. They add to the tense and uncomfortable feel of Welcome, Violeta!

There have been a number of movies that have examined struggling writers. The irony here is how well crafted it is. It keeps building layers while effectively dealing a story that is layered and well developed. Welcome, Violeta does a great job of foreshadowing and its willingness to alternate between English and Spanish adds a level of duality that is prevalent throughout the film. There are some odd choices towards the end, but it is an entertaining watch.

Welcome, Violeta! is currently screening at the Brooklyn Film Festival 

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