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Review: Autumn Lights

The film Autumn Lights appears to be a standard issue, run-of-the-mill moody somewhat erotic thriller.

Okay, fine, first impressions and all that, but the film is far more than its initial appearance, and the reason is actually quite obvious, which is the strength of the leads, American Guy Kent as David, a photographer, and especially Italian Marta Gastini as Marie. They both are sort of out of place in this American-Icelandic film, and by out of place, it’s because Gastini slips back and forth between Italian and English, and Kent, a producer as well, seems sort of otherworldly in his appearance.

In fact, the strength of the coupling is what makes Autumn Lights break the model. Marie is actually in a relationship with Jóhann (Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson), but it is clear from the film’s musical cues and cinematography that there is very little love in this relationship. Enter David, who in the course of solving a mystery instead gets a little too close to Marie. They both feel like strangers in a strange land in the Icelandic landscape, in Angad Aulukh’s flat landscape, and the choice of colour schemes and soundtrack distortion, (with the musical themes changing on a whim), both adding to the sense of confusion and heightened entanglements. Best of all, the film will resonate with an adult audience, one that is far too often under-served in the movies. It helps that the leads are both easy on the eyes, and most importantly, are a little bit younger.

Films such as these sometimes dwell on the ebbs and flows of couples that are a little bit older, but David and Marie are millennials that seemed to wander into a setting that is sometimes inhospitable to younger people. This film proves that there is a demand for erotic thrillers that are geared to a slightly younger audience. Hopefully the film will get seen by a large audience, perhaps in a theatrical setting, and Kent and Gastini will gain vital exposure for the future.

Autumn Lights is available now on VOD and in select theatres.

[star v=35]