“Beat Beat Heart” comes to the Slamdance Film Festival by way of Germany from writer and director Luise Brinkmann. Kerstin (Lana Cooper) lives in an idyllic area as we find her enjoying a lovely day with her significant other. Things aren’t always as they seem as we find that we are lost with Kerstin in her memories. She is heartbroken and trying to put her life back in order to accomplish her goal: to renovate an old playhouse into a movie theater.
While this may seem an ordinary tale, the supporting cast of characters add a very unique perspective with their own inherent stories. We meet Kerstin’s roommate who is rather overtly promiscuous to say the least. And then, drum roll please, we meet her mother who apparently is coming to stay with her, unexpectedly, for an indeterminate period of time. It’s obvious there is discomfort between the two, but they are experiencing similar traumatic experiences of the heart. The way they deal with it is just as polar opposite as the two women.
“Beat Beat Heart” in some ways feels very surreal as we are taken back to Kerstin’s memories. The stylized cinematography is gorgeous as it transports us back and forth between reality and the past. The generally unspoken difficulties in a mother-daughter relationship are still unspoken, yet are boldly portrayed for us to see. There’s jealousy that is very unintentional, but felt, with Kersstin watching her mother recover in her own way. And we also see that deadly sin rear its ugly head when her mother and roomate become friends. While this is a drama, there are truly laugh out loud moments as her mother attempts to use Finder (Tinder) and how this is portrayed as it is explained. Imagine a forest of trees and those trees are all men…I’ll let your imagination take it from there.
Lana is simply beautiful to watch on the screen as she gracefully glides through each scene. But it is her very subtle expressions and slight facial movements and eye gazes that create a genuine and real character. We know exactly what she is thinking when her mother comes to visit without her saying a word. Although what she actual does say is simply hysterical! (Note to self: Do not show up on my daughter’s doorstep with a lot of luggage in tow.) And we know how her heart longs for the touch of her love and the feel of his lips. We find hope in her eyes when she’s drawn to another, but her personality may not allow her to truly heal. And then we have Saskia Vester’s portrayal of Kerstin’s mom. As a mother, I could truly relate to much of what she said and felt as she spoke with her daughter. The dialogue between the two could not have been more natural or real. Then the risque and truly funny roommate beautifully balanced the emotionally heavy parts of the film.
“Beat Beat Heart” is an unusual love story focusing upon the heart and dreams of three different women. It’s engaging story filmed with gorgeous style draws you closer to the characters as you relate to them all in some way. Finding humor within our lives is the reality of this film while affirming our own life’s choices and the consequences.
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