A fight against diseases, family troubles, drug addiction, tears, mental illnesses but also pure love, youthness, joyness, lightheartedness…
Babyteeth is the new movie of the australian director Shannon Murphy, presented at the last “Mostra Internazionale dell’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia”.
A troubled love story
The plot is a teenager love story between Milla, a young girl seriously ill, and Moses, a drug-addicted guy rejected from his family. Milla is an explosive volcano of strength and sensibility. She expresses herself through the sweet notes of the violin and, at the same time, she possesses a free soul in search of adventures. This is probably what connects Milla and Moses – the desire to live the day without constraints. She does not know what will happen tomorrow. Moses lives in the streets, trying to survive and providing drugs for his addiction. Their love is as intense as the early aversion of Milla’s parents for the mean and rude behaviour of Moses. Their worst nightmare is that he may influence in a bad way their little and fragile daughter.
The themes of the story could be in some ways obvious and trivial, since it is about that kind of first love that makes adolescence a hard period. Also, the daily struggle against cancer can become a pitiable and compassionate theme. However, in Babyteeth the director gives space to each character. Slowly we enter in their secret world through visual and musical means. We focus more on the deep interior universe, avoiding the cliché of these easy catchy topics.
A special photography
A fundamental key to access to the private world of characters is the unconventional use of photography. The spectator feels surprised since the beginning of the movie about the unsteadiness camera that circles the faces and the bodies in a realistic way. The camera doesn’t violate their private space. On the contrary it lets us enter in the movie and we feel so close to them that we are inside the story. We are in the present moment and we can perceive the shadow of emotions through the character’s glance. In some parts of the movie the director goes as far as breaking the fourth wall and she allows us to keep eye contact with Milla.
Besides, the camera focus is not always fixed, as we are used to in classical cinema, and it takes time to concentrate on a subject. The incertainty of focus represents the spontaneous fragility of the characters. The more the movie goes on and the more we discover fragility and secrets of them. We realize that behind their normal appearance they are always crossing and hiding emotional roller coasters.
Also the music is a channel who deeply connects the viewer to the mood swings of the characters. It extends from classical music to electronic notes. Each song is perfectly linked to a specific moment, but I think this is not possible to explain with words, so I selected my favourite tracks from the movie. I suggest you to go directly to the cinema and let you transport through laughters and tears.