By Fabricio Estevam Mira
There are days when everything is overwhelming. The delayed commitment. The coffee running out. The barking that wakes you up. The debts piling up. The isolation spreading. Each person with their infinite personal reasons. At this point, you no longer want to argue with anyone. Expending energy has lost its meaning because your disposition has been in the red for about two lifetimes. All that's left is to sleep. Disappear. Protect yourself and try to forget the world.
Making a film specifically about this behavior of those who suffer from depression is quite challenging. The theme is dense, what happens is minimal (almost constant sleep), and it doesn't leave much room for a screenwriter or an actor. The somber atmosphere limits the options for both the director of photography and the soundtrack. It's quicksand for most directors. Not for Béatrice Steimer. Steimer, in her short film "Lucy Dreaming," managed to create a light, beautiful, and captivating film without denying or trivializing the depth of the main theme. The protagonist, who uses her bed as a refuge and an entrance to the realm of dreams, is always surrounded and immersed in an intimate yet extremely pleasant cinematography, giving the constant sensation that, despite the situation bordering on a critical point, there are still ways out and possibilities of self-redemption. Vivid colors surrounded by shadows kept at bay, which seem to dance more than threaten. The soundtrack, as much as the cinematography, subverts what could be a common portrayal of depression and gives us a highly captivating and creative sound, not trying to engulf the viewer in sadness but showing the sparks of doubts that propel the protagonist forward, out of inertia. The lead actress delivers a spontaneous and youthful performance, maximizing the overall lightness of the film and serving as the right focal point for the art direction. The art direction, by the way, is excellent. From the wardrobe to the location details, everything works very well, creating the dreamy and enjoyable atmosphere. "Lucy Dreaming" is one of the rare films that can gracefully navigate muddy terrain, making you want to watch it more than once.