Hallowed (Mistigri)

Directed by Fabrice Chiambretto  |  Review by Triptayan Chatterjee

Paul walks down a dark narrow road under the bridge and gazes at the hazy photograph of his dead daughter. Here the most valuable turning point of the film! His guitar which told the tune of truth of his life also went into the deep black world with him, where he promised to take revenge against everyone who has insulted him.

With the magnificent storyline, director of the film Febrice Chiambetto shows a life on the border of death. Paul has been a character that represents the struggling of life against the evil.

The evil in this specific case has been represented by the physically disabled characters’ frustration in a residential unit under caretaker. If we look inside the theme, it is clear that this wonderful film Hallowed (Mistigri)is showing the winning of life over frustration in a delicate manner on the borderline of life and death.

Based upon Atelier fiction, Febrice has started with Paul. Through different shots and scenes, Paul got trapped. When he realised his captivity, he left the place and promised to take revenge.

The other characters are also portrayed in a unique way. Every character represents an individual shade of dark life and thoughts. Youseff, Norbit, Lissette – all of them are dark characters. Every actor and actress has been far away from any kind of melodramatic approach. But those wonderful actions of Frank Halison in the role of Paul have added a different dimension to the film! From the very beginning, the shots taken from the other side of glasses reflect some subconscious existence of the characters. Paul many times looks at the world map to show that his life is boundless. The most memorable scene is the fire in front of Paul to symbolize his burning heart with the will of taking revenge.

Through the entire film, we frequently hear the name of a card game called (Mistigri). The game player has to find a black woman in the cards. Paul’s dead daughter calls him from the sky again and again to help him find the black woman. Paul goes on with playing the abstract Mistigry throughout the entire film.

The film has been captured and shot in a normal light. But the light has got a significant importance when the existence of the bygone Paul is clearly emphasized. The sound and background music are well-executed, too.

Another significant factor is the song played and sung by Paul at the very beginning of the film. The song describes that a father does not believe his child to be dead. He simply thinks that his baby went missing. One day he will get her back. The ukulele song has told the theme of the entire film at the very beginning. The consciousness between existence and non-existence, livelihood between life and death along the borderline and the abstract attitude of the characters expresses the very core of this film. Hallowed (Mistigri) has a flavor of popular films but it has not lost the artistic dimension. Covering the entire in-depth thoughts with the popular Atelier fiction has proved that commercial success can also be maintained in the art-house pieces.

For Hallowed (Mistigri), the film language is extremely successful. Particularly the turning point of the life of the homeless singer Paul has been a wonderful film language. The very first scene of a character seen from the other side of the glass has distinctly narrated the nature and feature of this wonderful film. Undoubtedly, Mistigry has played a silent abstract role stating the comparison between life and death along the borderline.

 

Triptayan is a filmmaker looking for a different horizon. Earlier a journalist Triptayan has done intensive research on film language and made different documentaries so far. He is now concentrating upon feature film in a vast landscape. Professionally a teacher, Triptayan has also passion for making films threaded with the international and universal thoughts.