Sundance 2021: ‘The Pink Cloud’ Is An Unintentional Depiction of Current Events That Lives Within Honesty

Sometimes the art that you create takes on another meaning when the events of the world unfold. Almost as if it’s an unintentional prophecy of things to come. Sci-Fi movies look at things that can happen either to give forewarning of the highest nature or look at how humanity reacts to changes. Luli Gerbase’s The Pink Cloud was written in 2017 and filmed in 2019. The fact that this movie is a mirror image of our current societal state operates on pure coincidence. However, the themes and the character progressions within this film permeate even more than we near the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pink Cloud itself is an antagonistic device that arrives out of nowhere throughout the world. Details are sparse beyond the knowledge that if you are outside, breathing it with killing you in ten seconds. The movie shows one instance at the beginning where a good amount of death happens. Gerbase concerns herself more with how relationships (or lack thereof from the start) play out in this universal stay-at-home order. Our two principal characters, website designer Giovana (Renata de Lélis) and chiropractor Yago (Eduardo Mendonça) hook up the night before. At the beginning of the film, there’s a slow, ominous feel to the cloud’s arrival. It’s one of the few times we get to see the outside other than from a window. Now, two people who had no intention but to have one night of lust together are thrown into a situation where they are the only ones they have.

Finding that they are opposites with expectations in life, Giovana and Yago try to make things are bearable as possible. They both have different views on how they see the world. Giovana is more empathetic with people whereas Yago doesn’t. They have different wants in wanting to have a family. As time goes on, they let their guards down and start progressing into a family unit that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the lockdown. In that, it creates some issues. When there’s no initial chemistry to be had, being in close quarters for so long makes things seem artificial. Giovana says that it feels like they are in an arranged marriage, and this is even complete with them trying to role play in an effort

While together, Giovana and Yago have their own struggles. Yago’s father’s mental health is rapidly degrading, Giovana has to experience her niece’s milestones through a screen. She also has a friend that is having a mental struggle the longer this lockdown goes. Through this film, Gerbasi makes the apartment feel big. In emotional scenes, cinematographer Bruno Polidoro closes the frame, but in times apart, makes it seem like they are in two different places, They break up, try to co-parent, also try to find intimacy with other people while under the same roof, and get back together. They are put through the relationship ringer where it feels quantified in a short amount of time.

The credence of why The Pink Cloud works is because of the performances of De Lélis and Mendonça together. As time wears on, Yago accepts that this is their life and falls comfortably in it. Giovana becomes more dissociative – sometimes retreating to virtual reality to have the life she once knew. As one person molds into the world as is, the other crumbles into a shell of themselves. Some instances do drag a bit, but mostly, everything has a purpose. The audience is seeing a new, restrictive world through the eyes of two people that have completely plausible reactions. Gerbase’s debut is not so much fixated on the terror and danger outside the walls of the apartment. It instead sees how confinement and fixed relationships and strengthen and disintegrate through a fixed period.


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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Journalist, Self-published author of five books, podcast host, and photographer since 2014, Murjani Rawls has been stretching the capabilities of his creativity and passions, Rawls has as a portfolio spanning through many mediums including music, television, movies, and more. Operating out of the New York area, Rawls has photographed over 200+ artists spanning many genres, written over 700 articles ranging displaying his passionate aspirations to keep evolving as his years in media continue.

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