Chris’s review published on Letterboxd:
- Really truly sincere happiness, beauty, and joy are fleeting. The muted colors and oppressive framing (this movie uses framing and blocking to the most consistently interesting and powerful effect maybe in any movie that I've ever seen ever) create a world that is at best mundane and at worst repressive in how emotionally neutral and insincere it forces our main characters to feel and be, but when they're together, they can be true, and they can feel that warmth and love, and that's when the world brightens and opens up, only to melt away again, and wither.
But then, vibrancy returns, at the impression of hope. Hope for love. Hope for a peace and a bliss that can maintain itself. Hope for something more. And that's the beauty of the whole thing! So much of this movie is spent wriggling in the confines of the strict and harsh society that these characters inhabit, but it's the possibility for something that goes beyond the world around us and instead strikes through to the core of these characters -- these people, as individuals -- that invokes such a real sense of beauty and wonder in this film. Everything else (genius cinematography, remarkable production design, and unimaginably human performances) just adds splendid layers to that evocative emotional center.