Tribeca 2022: ‘Pink Moon’ and ‘Two Sisters And A Husband’
This coverage is part of the Tribeca Film Festival.
‘Pink Moon’ (2022) Review: A Subtle and Emotional Exploration of Mortality
Floor van der Muelen’s Pink Moon reveals the main issue in the first five to ten minutes and wastes no time establishing the plot. It’s a deeply moving tale of an old father who wishes to die on his terms and his children helping him prepare for his death and deal with it. It isn’t difficult to predict what will happen in the end, and it makes us wonder how little time we have with the people that we love and cherish. A bizarre and honest portrayal of mortality shows the emotional journey of a family coming to terms with an unconventional death.
When Iris (Julia Akkermans) and her older brother Ivan (Eelco Smits) visit their father Jan (Johan Leysen) for dinner, they expect it to be a normal family get-together. Their 74-year-old father reveals that his next birthday will be his last and he doesn’t want to live anymore. While Ivan accepts Jan’s wishes, Iris has a hard time with it. Jan feels burdened by his life and since he is getting older, he thinks that it will be difficult for his children to take care of him. Jan tells his children how he plans to die and rehearses the death to make sure everyone is on the same page. With almost a year left until Jan ends his life, Iris fights back and tries to change her father’s mind by making him realise the important things in life.
Pink Moon doesn’t promote suicide, however, it’s still a controversial and difficult topic for people to understand. Using this issue, Muelen attempts to show how older people want to have control of their lives and avoid a painful death. It’s unnatural but the movie explores the meaning of mortality in a deeply emotional way. Jan’s reasoning behind ending his life is that he misses his wife, who died several years ago. The days are long, sorrowful and lonely without someone to share his life, even despite his children and their families visiting him every weekend.
The absurdity of the situation is present in the movie. From Ivan and Iris bickering about their father’s wishes and their plans on who should keep the belongings. These moments make great comedic bits, but the momentum gets lost halfway into the film. Despite being an emotional story, Iris’ denial is the central focus. Jan and Iris’ relationship is shown in the movie almost entirely and her complete lack of understanding, and even anger towards her father, makes her move into his house to spend more time together. It would have been interesting to show the sibling dilemma more and how both of them are coping with it. Ivan, who accepted it without any questions, is seen later breaking down and finally realising the gravity of the situation. But the moment is not as strong and emotional due to the lack of character development in the movie.
Pink Moon will surely divide the viewers and it’s understandable. It’s not an easy topic for people to comprehend and it goes against the traditional way of death. While it discusses mortality and the importance of family, it is also a celebration of life. It’s quite contradictory due to the story, but it shows how Jan is content with his life and the moments he shared with his family. Iris learns that she cannot change her father’s mind. Pink Moon takes a lot of risk with the subject matter and the ending is a well-deserved and emotional conclusion.
‘Two Sisters And A Husband’ (2022): A Riveting Drama Shows a Complicated Relationship
Shlok Sharma’s Two Sisters And A Husband is a sensitive examination of a complicated relationship that changes the life of a family. The ideas within the narrative are unsettling and the three characters are linked together by one man. It’s not a happy communion, every aspect of the relationship is in crisis. Each character’s circumstances are different and they live like strangers in a home that is meant to be blissful and happy, but the moment the movie begins, there is something wrong in the atmosphere and they behave like strangers.
The movie opens with a woman being dragged by her feet on the floor by two men with a streak of blood following behind her. Next, the woman Amrita (Manya Grover) walks up from the dream to her new home with Rajat (Dinker Sharma) and her sister Tara (Avani Rai) in a hillside town. Rajat arrives at a hotel to take charge as a manager and meets the bitter royal heir Bhed Singh (Himanshu Kolhi). The story reveals the true nature of the trio’s relationship through flashbacks. Rajat has a history with Amrita and they were in love, but their father arranged his marriage with Tara, a loveless relationship. Soon after, Amrita gets pregnant with Rajat’s child but instead of divorcing Tara, the trio leave their home behind and shift to a new town due to the stigma. Cut to the present day, there is resentment and anger towards each other and they all want things to be different, and each chapter looks at the dynamic of their family situation.
Two Sisters And A Husband explores monogamy from different views and reveals the layers of the complicated situation slowly. Rajat is in the middle of the situation, where he dishonoured his wife and impregnated her sister. He is constantly dealing with the tension inside his home, unable to make peace with Armita, who is clearly unhappy with the untraditional household. She prefers a more domestic, conventional space where she can raise her child with the man that she loves, however, that means abandoning her only sister and family. Tara, who seems to care less about the situation, sees a counsellor to talk about the things she witnessed in her marriage. Throughout the film, she seems numb and helpless from a situation entirely out of her hands. Instead of leaving her husband, she stays with him, and the film doesn’t try to blame her for it.
While these ideas are explored in the film, there seems to be a disconnect in the narratives. None of the connective stories is strong enough, and even with the complicated and messy storylines, the slow pace doesn’t find the right footing in the riveting drama. The concept of home and belonging are deeply questioned in the movie. Two Sisters And A Husband focus on the sanctity of marriage, interpersonal relationships, and the unequal gender rules that hold parents accountable for their actions. Perhaps these ideas will touch the viewer differently, and the answers will finally be resolved.
Edited by: Raayaa Imthiyaz