Force Majeure

Force Majeure ★★★

A dramedy that takes the idea of running away physically in comparison to running away mentally. A family that is suddenly faced with an avalanche experiences separation and dysfunction after the father appears to care more about technology than his own children. It’s a story full of awkward moments, misunderstandings and uncomfortable situations which exemplify the feeling of reliability at hand. I’m a skier myself, so evidently watching this family go down the mountain, caught in the snow, trapped on a chair lift, experiencing weather that is too hot or cold or fall over were occurrences I understood on a personal level. This not only helped the film from a comedically dramatic perspective, but also provide it with a grand sensation of humanity. 

The issue here isn’t the execution, but the fact that, as a whole, the film feels too obvious. The themes are blatantly and shown with no sense of ambiguity averting them from intertwining into the forms of storytelling or characterization. As someone who’s involved in a writing class at school, one thing I learned about writing scripts this past year was what using the “X” means. This refers to the utilization of a metaphor through the dialogue meaning that the message is never explicitly expressed verbally but rather implicatively insinuated. Take math and come up with a completely random algebraic problem: 4 + X = 25. I understand that is a very easy one but you still have to think a slight amount in order to solve it. What Force Majeure doesn’t get is that it needs to allow its audience to think a bit as opposed to spoon-feeding the thematic elements. The characters say what they want instead of expressing their desires subtly through something such as a facial expression or a more enigmatic line. 

Nonetheless, it’s a great time filled with a passionately heartwarming set of actors, entertaining ski incidents and an engrossing family dynamic.

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