What We Wanted (2020) Review

The film itself is beautifully shot and the story is a heart-breaking one, but sadly it is paced too slowly and has no real plot to speak of.

Certificate: 15

Director: Ulrike Kofler

Screenwriter: Sandra Bohle, Ulrike Kofler

Starring: Lavinia Wilson, Elyas M’Barek, Anna Unterberger

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 93 Minutes

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Alice and Niklas are happy, they lack nothing – but a child. After several failed invitros, they go on a holiday to Sardinia to leave their wish for a child behind. Right there, however, everything they tried to repress resurfaces. A cheerful Tyrolean family moves directly into the neighbouring house and seems to have everything that Alice and Niklas lack in life. An unforeseen incident changes their view on life, in which the most natural thing in the world does not avail. – From IMDB

This film is heart-breaking.  The story right from the beginning is about a couple’s grief over not being able to have children, and we watch as their relationship slowly deteriorates during a summer holiday in Sardinia.  This film has very few light moments.  The entire thing is very bleak and sad and while this makes for a really beautiful and moving story, and while it is shot beautifully as well, it does not make for a very engaging film.

It is paced far too slowly and has far too little going on to really capture the audience.  There is not a real overarching story besides the collapse of Niklas and Alice’s marriage which happens slowly.  There is a sub-plot involving the neighbours in the next villa but there isn’t really much to it and other than the big shock twist that comes towards the end of the film they really just serve as a antagonistic force, something to cause a rift between a couple that already has enough to think about.  Without them of course there would have been no story whatsoever, so I suppose that makes their inclusion necessary.

The film doesn’t over use dialogue, using actions and important moments silence instead to tell the most important aspects of the story.  And the cinematography is simply gorgeous.  It would be fairly impossible to film anything in a location like Sardinia and it not be visually stunning, but everything down to the lighting in this film is gorgeous.

I can’t recommend this on visuals alone as a film definitely needs more then that to make it a stand out feature.  And if you are already feeling down in a time when the world is dark and lonely enough, this isn’t exactly going to lift your spirits.  But it is beautiful and touching and emotional.  Even if it has little else going for it.

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