Some memories are too painful for us to carry them day after day. There are compartments in our heads where we keep our heaviest memories to protect ourselves from despair. This is especially true for traumatic events-events that are so important that our reactions cannot be controlled. Some people may move forward without remembering, but for others, answers are a necessity for life. They give people the insight they need to get to know themselves better, to heal their wounds and to move on emotionally.
In” Revue Paris “, memory is a secret that needs to be solved. Mia (Virginie Efira) is riding a motorcycle through Paris, looking for answers to a devastating filming at a local bistro. She was there and she survived, but she can’t remember how. The opening scenes show Mia going about her life, working on the radio and spending time with her boyfriend Vincent (Gregoire Colin). But after she is alone and writes in the bistro. A birthday is celebrated at a nearby table. The atmosphere is calm and pleasant. She puts ink on her hands with her fountain pen and goes to the toilet to wash them. But before Mia can return to her table, she hears gunshots and screams. Although the scene is short, it is quite frightening—it’s not only what we see, but also what we don’t see. Director Alice Winocour does not show us where the shots are coming from, but focuses on the panic of the bistro staff and the guests. The scene cuts before we can see exactly how Mia survived.
Months after, mia’s life did not return to normal. She feels removed from her job and Vincent. And so his journey begins to remember the past in order to move forward. With determination, Mia is trying to get answers about where she ended up during the filming and what happened to the nice cook who held her hand and comforted her. On her journey, she meets and talks with other survivors of the strike, all of whom are action in their own way. A woman condemned Mia of barricading herself in the bathroom and refuses to let anyone else in, which Mia doubts, although she cannot prove it. She meets another survivor, a teenage girl named Felix( Nastya Golubeva), and they quickly form a bond. Mia has a very different dynamic with another survivor, a banker named Thomas( Benoît Magimel), who is recovering in the hospital. These connections bring Mia comfort and help her refresh her memory.
“Revue Paris” gives it a sensitivity, a warm texture despite the abundance of cold shades of sapphire. The dark visual style of the film is reminiscent of Atom egoyan’s early work with its calm, confessional tone and lively splashes of color. Similar to Egoyan’s” Exotica “and” the Sweet Hereafter “, each character in” Revue Paris “is connected by grief and sadness. Characters often look ahead when they are talking or looking at the camera, so we can witness the emotions in their faces. As the story shifts from person to person, face to face, everything begins to seem dreamlike. Mia’s picture on her motorcycle only reinforces the feeling that we are drifting, days and nights are merging. Sometimes the film shifts the perspective to other survivors, telling about their feelings and memories. It’s a very human way of exploring the trauma, and reminds us that Mia is one of many issue.