'THE RETURN OF THE TRAIN'
- Directed by Sara Grimaldi -
In a French village from the ‘60s, people are living their lives in a simple yet monotonous way. Their cultural life is not that prosperous and they crave for events that could bring the community back together. Being isolated from the urban world, they are waiting for an event that will perhaps change their lives for the good. One day, the villagers are notified about some amazing news: the state will re-open fifty stations in the region. That means the station from their village will also be re-opened and maybe this is the long-awaited event that they were expecting. After a long absence, the whole village rebirths and starts preparing for the celebration.
The youngest inhabitants don’t seem that happy and all they can think of is that maybe the train will be the ticket for escaping the dreary life of the village. The whole festivity is seen through Sophia’s eyes, one of the youngest figures from the community. She dreams to leave this place someday and become a famous singer, but her conservative mom always brings her down on earth and doesn’t let her become rebellious. In the end, we get to see that even if she is the youngest, she may be the only one from the whole village who sees things right.
Though the story is simple, the plot is well-developed and the dialogue is smart and imaginative. The stylistic choices help us understand the inner struggle of each character. A simple-minded mayor, a nostalgic retired railway worker, an impertinent shepherd and a rigid merchant are the initiators of a collective delirium that will involve the whole villagers. The actors do an exceptional performance and give the part much personality, using inserts of subtle humor here and there. The characters are complex and appealing and they manage to sustain the plot till the very last scene. They don’t know if the train will really arrive, but the community has such a strong desire that puts in motion the whole village. All they wish for is to obtain economic benefits and to have a stronger connection with the society, but appearances can sometimes be deceptive. The ‘60s ambiance is remarkable and can be felt throughout the whole movie. Also, the scenography blends perfectly with the story that gets on a deeper meaning about the hopes, dreams and human ambition.
ʻLe retour du trainʼ tells the story of how the lives of a bunch of villagers can be changed with the help of an unexpected event that brings them amazing opportunities. Even if the story seems to be a simple one, it gradually becomes an entertaining comedy. In terms of filmmaking, this film is absolutely remarkable. The cinematography is neat and the camera draws attention to the character’s emotions. This film has an honest approach using real life inspired characters, causing the audience to empathize with them. We’re glad to have it in our selection and we wish the best for the team!