AIFF 2017- When Film Takes the Stage: Hermia & Helena
Directed by Lionel Braverman and written-directed by Matias Piñeiro, Hermia & Helena follows Camila (Augustina Muñoz), a young woman from Argentina who’s participating in a fellowship in New York to translate Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” the Shakespeare rom-com that also, not coincidentally, lends itself as the flight pattern for the movie’s arc.
When first introduced, the protagonist Camila seems fairly simple. A young woman in the theatre with larger aspirations, good friends and family, and a serious boyfriend. The only bummer in her pleasant life is this single year she has to spend away from home to fulfill those aspirations. Even then, she doesn’t seem too disappointed by that.
Of course, as in Shakespeare and as in Piñeiro’s previous Shakespeare-inspired films, simplicity is a thin veneer.
Like a Shakespeare play, a lot of the heavy lifting for the storyline is through its dialogue, but fittingly for a cinematic presentation, the cinematography serves as more than a backdrop; the dreary and frigid winter of New York is palpable through the bare trees, overcast skies, and heavy coats everyone wears.
As the story progresses, Camila ping pongs through romances; somewhat a Shakespearean “Sex And The City.” She meets up with an old boyfriend, looking to rekindle the relationship. And, as that blossoms again, she leaves to strike up another relationship with a co-worker. All the while, she still has her boyfriend in Argentina.
Muñoz’s acting is natural and instantly believable. She has an easy-going smile and speaks directly. She makes Camila as complicated as she is simple. A pleasant homage to Shakespeare’s rom-coms, Hermia & Helena is likable and light-hearted.
Fri 12:40 pm, Sat 9:40 pm, Sun 3:40 pm & Mon 3:40 pm at Varsity 3