A24’s Problemista review: A surreal fairy tale about finding your person

Every project of comedian Julio Torres reflects his ability to tell stories that are shaped by his unique imagination and deep understanding of the hyper-specific qualities that make weird people funny.exist saturday night live Sketches like Wells For Boys, and his short-lived HBO series the espucci familyTorres creates windows into absurd worlds that look like places you can only reach in your dreams.But for A24 problemist He wrote, directed and starred in the film – Torres used his creativity to paint a picture whose beauty is rooted in its realism and emotional honesty.

Inspired by Torres’ own experience immigrating to the United States, problemist It tells the story of Alejandro, an aspiring toymaker from El Salvador who travels to the United States hoping to fulfill his dream of working for Hasbro. As the only son of artist Dolores (Catarina Saavedra), Alejandro grew up experiencing their little world as a magical and vibrant place that nourished him Unique imagination. When young Alejandro (Logan J. Alarcon-Purcell) wishes for a life-size, castle-like theater where he can think about his feelings, Dolores takes advantage of her ’s talents made his dream come true—not just because she could, but because she wanted to show him that he, too, had the ability to transform ideas into reality.

Dolores also wants Alejandro to know that she will always love him and support his choices, and that her dreams tell her that she will one day lead him to do great things. But when Alejandro finally sets off on his own, Dolores can’t help but feel like she’s sending him into a world that’s not good enough for a sensitive soul like his.

With impeccably offbeat production design by Katie Byron and voiceover narration by Isabella Rossellini, problemist Let me tell you, this isn’t just a simple chronicle of Alejandro’s journey to America, it’s actually a fairy tale about an extremely sensitive and sheltered man discovering what it means to pursue his passion.

Traveling to New York City and finding a place to live was an important step in Alejandro’s path to Hasbro, where he hoped his ideas for social media-obsessed Cabbage Patch Kids and psychologically manipulative Barbie dolls would land him an entry-level job. Hope doesn’t quite pay the bills, though. As an immigrant, Alejandro’s ability to stay in the United States depends on finding a job willing to sponsor him before his time runs out. It’s this necessity that drives Alejandro to work at a cryogenic startup that focuses on cryogenic artists like Bobby (RZA) who hope to awaken centuries into the future. But on the afternoon that Alejandro is fired, fate seems to introduce him to Bobby’s fiercely combative art critic wife Elizabeth (Tilda Swinton).

Although full of whimsical and playful atmosphere problemist Leadership never really goes away, and things get even more unhinged once Elizabeth steps in and proposes that Alejandro be the latest in her long list of seemingly overworked assistants. In “Elizabeth”—a living reality-distortion field whose fuses are as short as the loudness of her costumes—Alejandro can see a woman in mourning who ultimately wants to be seen and heard To a point more than she actually wanted to fight. But yelling is Elizabeth’s default mode, and while most people dismiss her angry outbursts as ordinary temper tantrums, Alejandro sees them as something between a bloodthirsty monster and her helpless victims a series of battles.

although problemistThe whimsy lends the film a sense of levity, and their strength lies in how powerfully they illustrate the more complex, serious ideas Torres explores in the script, such as the U.S. visa system that makes immigration incredibly difficult to build a new Live and thrive in this country. Dealing with Elizabeth and her pursuit of Bobby’s series of egg-themed paintings is a hell in itself that would make anyone want to part with it. But it all pales in comparison to Alejandro’s anxiety knowing he’s just days away from being deported.

Even with a compassionate caseworker like Khalil (Les Nakley) on his side, Alejandro has no money and can’t escape the immigration system’s never-ending fees or the overdrafts plaguing his bank account cost. The more time Alejandro spends in this unfairly designed maze of near-poverty, the more he finds himself turning to the incarnation of Craigslist (Larry Irwin) for additional low-paying side hustles.

problemist Many narrative threads are quietly woven together in clever ways – for example, Elizabeth is a cave monster that haunts Dolores’ dreams, and Alejandro is reminded of the critic’s power to will things into existence (through bullying) Using his mother’s translation skills, he transformed rough sketches into three-dimensional works of art.

But the film sometimes feels more like a collection of complementary stories rather than a single narrative (which isn’t necessarily a confrontation), as the film spends a lot of time on supporting characters, taking the focus away from Alejandro Move away. Together, Swinton and Torres are a delightful storm of quirks that belie their characters’ shared yet unique emotional vulnerability. As Alejandro and Elizabeth grow closer, problemistExperiments with the absurd became more intense and fantastical to emphasize how they represented the truth of things.

These truths are often so horrific that people don’t want to see them.but problemist Emphasize how healing it is to confront them through art and try to create meaningful connections with others, even if the task seems impossible.

problemist Also starring Greta Lee, Spike Einbinder, Kelly McCormack, Megan Stolt, Charlene Incanet, Martin Gutierrez and Carlos E. · Navido. The film will be released nationwide on March 22.

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