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Reviewed by ashwarr GB / Joined ashwarr 2016
Beyond Here
Beyond Here
Beyond Here
Belgium, 2015, 72 minutes, HD Drama
The film, ‘Beyond Here’ opens with the quote by the Frenchrnhistorian and anthropologist, Jean-Pierre Vernant: ‘There is some of Hestia in Hermes and some ofrnHermes in Hestia. For a true inside to really exist, it has to open, to receivernit within itself. And every individual must accept his share of Hestia andrnHermes’.The film does not provide a lot of background on the two main characters, Lea and Basile, as they travel through a mountain range in an unmentioned country, towards an unknown place called 'Gondolin'. Their past is unknown although it is implied that they are running from some sort of conflict or war. Nor is it clear exactly what Gondolin is or what the couple hope to achieve by travelling their. This limited backstory allows the characters to be seen without any of their past or history being made apparent, so the audience can make their own, unbiased judgements of them.As the story continues, the beginning quote begins to makernmore sense in regards to the characters. Hestia is commonly the Ancient Greekrngoddess of the hearth, symbolising home and family whereas Hermes is thernmessenger of the gods and represents transitions and travelling. PlacingrnVernant’s quote in context with the rest of the film presents Lea and Basilernwith more solidified characteristics and their representations are a lot easierrnto define; Lea is shown to be Hestia as she is averse to travelling any furtherrnand is content staying and making a home in the villa they've found.rnContrastingly, Basile is representing Hermes; wanting to continue to movernforward and travel further towards their goal, through the mountain pass tornGondolin.rnrnAt the beginning, the camera tends to follow Lea and Basilerna lot, which works effectively as the story progresses and allows the audiencernto feel protective and invested in their journey. As the film continues and Learnand Basile become more settled in the villa, the camera focuses on wider shotsrnof the surrounding landscape to create atmosphere as the beautiful scenery isrncombined with the loud and unnerving music. This, with the frequent musicalrncrescendos, serves to create a strange atmosphere in an otherwise peacefulrnlandscape and creates a number of very dramatic and tense moments in the film.rnrnThernrelationship between Lea and Basile is defined early on the film and thernaudience naturally feels very protective of them and their relationship.rnTherefore with the introduction of Marcus, an old hunter-traveller who theyrnhappen across whilst staying at the villa, the audience, like Basile, feelsrninitially sceptical about trusting or relying on him. However, they graduallyrnaccept him and the scenes of bonding between the three, with them sharing arnmeal, butchering a deer or drinking in the evening, should serve as a way ofrnsolidifying Marcus as a positive character. However, the juxtaposition of thesernsupposedly happy scenes with the wildly tense music, offsets the audience andrncreates an underlying atmosphere of tension and distrust among the trio.rnrn Overall ‘Beyond Here’ is a stunning example of how much canrnbe achieved with a small cast and limited setting for a film. It does a greatrnjob at creating an immersive and intriguing atmosphere; Lea, Basile and Marcusrnare interesting and varying characters, with plenty of depth. As a viewer, yournare able to feel invested in them and their relationships before realising itrnand the development of these relationships, alongside the wonderfullyrnoffsetting music, creates an unnerving experience for the audience.
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