With its firm fusion between horror and auteur cinema, ‘The cloud’ won the Special Jury Prize in Sitges, an accolade that denotes the interest and quality of a sweeping debut that can attract a wide audience. At the Catalan festival, and other specialized events such as the San Sebastián Horror and Fantasy Film Week, this story of a desperate mother, who dedicates herself body and soul to raising lobsters to make flour on a farm, delighted greatly to receptive palates. The protagonist, played with commendable physical courage by Suliane Brahim, seen in ‘Specials’ and in the recommended series ‘Zone Blanche’, is stumbling in her desire to combine motherhood, responsible for several children with the problems of their age , with the difficulty of her daily work as a farmer and breeder of grasshoppers.
She is obsessed with breeding insects, the food of the future, just how our planet is doing. But its sale as organic matter for human consumption is not going as it should. Financially drowned, she is forced to increase production, leading to a horrifying accidental decision: Feeding the voracious critters with human blood increases the results. A turn that can be seen coming, but it does not cease to surprise, especially because it is treated with great elegance, with a disturbing staging.
The bond that grows between the thousands of grasshoppers and the dedicated protagonist is sickly and desperate, well managed by a sober direction by new filmmaker Just Philippot, who relies on lucid visual effects, perfectly integrated, almost priceless in favor of a naturalism that shakes the viewer as the action progresses. The locust farmer’s role as mother courage falters. Unrecognizable at times, his offspring do not understand the changes that the family leader undergoes, both physical and mental, which results in an explosion of crescendo horror that dispenses with containment at the appropriate moment to offer a shocking spectacle at the climax .
The weight of the film falls on Brahim’s sacrificial work within the frame, with an unusual expressiveness. Awarded as Best Actress in Sitges, his interaction with real insects is flawless and harrowing. Clearly there is a remarkable previous preparation, in front of and behind the camera, betting on the creation of an enveloping atmosphere like a plague of locusts. At times poetic, the film dispenses with an obvious gimmicky terror to embrace an authorial vision that can attract a very varied audience, not necessarily fond of the fantasy genre. The box office is gaining momentum thanks to premieres like this one.
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