At this moment you know that you are gone, and you are gone. Fantasizing an opening line for a novel or it belongs to the sensation of the movie Congress .
Director Ari Folman who created a beautiful piece Waltz with Bashir in 2008 made his come back with Congress. Combining with live action with animation, the ambiguous reality is living inside confusion. One scene the animation is outside where the animated protagonist stands while the live action is inside of the screen where Robin Wright is sleeping. The purpose is to show that hallucination is “active” in her mind. In term of the way showing it, its form rebels against the norm, like the real world isn’t necessary the live action and maybe the animation itself is the reality, it challenges the tradition of filmmaking and brings a new version of the illusionary world.
It’s a movie about aging, dreaming, and drugs effect. The story is about preserving immortality into a forever young digital image of an actress (Robin Wright) who raises her ailing son, and building a perfect image will be her last job, and the beauty will last forever in the digital world.
Years later when she comes back and happens to see her influence. The reality from live action switches to animation. You could tell what you see is when you are gone, to another world, where that you are immortal in your digital reality, where things don’t matter anymore, where only pretty things exist.
Robin will know what I mean. It’s where wealthy people hang out with. It’s the place that everyone wants to preserve their beauty like her. It’s a place that everything becomes vivid and fun. It’s where you find love and happiness. It’s a place you don’t suffer or experience pain or anything. It’s a place that you don’t want to leave. If you wake up, everything will becomes ugly and disgusting, people around are wrinkling and wearing dirty clothes, so which world you choose to live?
The director uses the strong visual contrast to divide those two worlds. You need to watch the film to figure it out which way she chooses at the end. Plus the visual effect is stunning and it’s brave to show effect of drugs-use on screen. Also many interesting sub-plots like the Robin’s digital creator fell in love with her and met her in the animated world which adds more favor into the film. Like her son’s kite, flowing in the air and almost hitting with the airplane, appears in the film many times to emphasize that might be the cue for her every moves.
And the reason I like about watching films is because I could immerse myself into protagonist’s situations, into another reality, to choose between lines, to think like what they think, to have the hardest pick.
Maybe the illusionary world is a way to escape. If the story is about escaping reality, watching films also becomes an escape journey for me, to disappear myself into other realities, the storytelling, the situations, the people, into their shoes, see from their perspective to view a different new world, to bravely forget who I’m really am.