We Had To Kill Lady Death

Directed by Lucie Weeger | Review by Antonio Rozich

Monotony dissolving into chaos is a perfect description of an individual haunted by the past. Imagine it like this: Individual A does things in life that are likely to “rub” someone else in a wrong way. After years and years, he or she retires to a peaceful and monotonous life. But with monotony comes plenty of time to recollect thoughts and if the thoughts have a black spot or two, they can easily turn into nightmares, thus chaos. We Had To Kill Lady Death by Lucie Weeger follows the idea and provides a more personal and even justifiable approach.

Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that the classic use of jump cuts to present the monotony at the beginning is a perfect way to introduce the viewer to the story. The main protagonist is Greg, an old man who seamlessly spends his days alone, jump a thought-out route. He wakes up, has breakfast, brushes his teeth, goes out to the local café, comes back home, falls asleep and so on. Rinse and repeat.

But the more we get introduced to the monotony of an old man, the more we realize that what’s on the outside, isn’t necessarily what’s inside – to be precise, in Greg’s head. This is achieved with another basic but powerful technical trick – transitions.

Besides the fantastic usage of jump cuts, the transitions make everything so perfectly clear yet mysterious. Like a profoundly polished mirror that reflects light so vividly, there are too many details for you to comprehend them all. Alongside with the color change, it soon becomes obvious the film transitions between the present and past – current Greg’s life and his memories. Nice clear transitions between present and past are the tires for the entire film with the mystery being the fuel that makes everything rolling.

Music is another amazing aspect worth mentioning. The tunes provide an intriguing atmosphere often found in the early 80s but also 90s indie French movie, including even one of Luc Besson’s firsts – L’avant dernier. It’s an entirely different story but it goes to show how just a few notes can have a strong impact on how the viewer perceives a film.

All this is wisely mixed into a rich salad of intrigue, drama, mystery and suspense. In just 15 minutes you get everything you can ask from a film with a minimum set of words – it’s all about the feeling you get, instead of the usual visual and sound content.

Finally, the end is an alluring little dance between happiness and sadness, calmness and suspense. As we run through Greg’s dark past, we instantly go back to him in a café where a simple scene suggests memories stay memories – they have no real power to infiltrate the present. But, the moment of calm is quickly sabotaged by suspense and then… then, Lucie Weeger leaves you, the viewer to decide what happens and how it all ends.

 

Antonio Rozich is a seasoned copywriter and the chief editor for Cult Critic – meaning, if you’re a filmmaker you’ll either love or hate him. Besides his usual copywriting, he also helps filmmakers with their screenplays by editing them and finding the ways to improve the initial filmmaker’s idea. When all of that is done, he turns to his true & original love: writing flash fiction filled with philosophy, life and cake metaphors.