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Criticism | The Chemistry Between Us

Mixing fear, dissatisfaction, a lot of confusion and emotions to the surface, adolescence pushes us and pulls us to the most diverse places and situations and thus shows us what it is like to be alive

We can find different forms of love in life. Interesting how the film industry has found ways to not let plots about "love" die in the clichés of life. At Netflix we have a menu full of escapist romantic comedies with novels explored in their purest essence: romantic pessimism. Fact is that many films in the lineage of  'Blame it on the stars', for example, are famous for using sentimentality as a way to conquer the public, but in fact it is more than that, it is experiencing all the colors and their nuances in a feeling as beautiful as the love we experience at some point in life and not just love, but pain, loss, hopelessness ... in short, the feeling of being alive. In the melancholy 'The Chemistry Between Us' (Chemical Hearts), original of Amazon Prime Video and that vividly shows the construction of relationships through mourning, longing and loneliness.

The feature film directed by Richard Tanne (Southside With You), is an adaptation of the best-selling book 'The Chemistry Among Us', by the author Krystal Sutherland, although it is simple and does not differ from other clichés of the genre such as 'Five Steps from You', the film has its peculiarities and its deeper details enchant the viewer. Patch… I believe this is the word that defines this relationship between teenagers, Grace Town and Henry Page. It is a patch of her pains, of her souls, something mysterious about her, draws much attention from Henry and although sweet and honest, the drama exposes all the wounds that have not healed. The character of Lili Reinhart (Riverdale) is so well built that we feel the pain she feels. It acts in such a real way that it is impossible not to delight in the face of a story that shows us how important it is to empathize with the pain of others.

Already Austin Abrams (Euphoria), has a sad look in his eyes, in addition to the sweetness of his attitudes, has a stunning chemistry with Reinhart… a lot of that chemistry I've seen in films like 'A love to remember' and the funeral tone of the cinema of Gus Van Sant, especially in 'Restless' (which is wonderful, sad and sweet at the same time). The duo delivers a balanced, real couple, with flaws and defects, with conversations that express reflection and none of this can be compared with a love for half or with the so idealized "perfect love" that does not exist but with the virtue of meeting love and to live that feeling so disturbing and at the same time so wonderful.

Crítica | A Química que Há Entre Nós 1
Austin Abrams and Lili Reinhart are Henry Page and Grace Town in “The Chemistry Between Us” / Amazon Prime Video

Something very interesting is the Japanese technique of mending broken porcelain with gold, something that gives the piece another meaning, the script makes a delightful metaphor about liquid relationships, about fixing instead of throwing it away, how people who pass through our lives leave marks immeasurable of them in our lives and how mourning needs time to be overcome. The trajectory of both is surrounded by teachings and specific reflections that the genre seems to be afraid to show that has an impact on the bittersweet outcome.

We have already realized how shallow the approach of loving maturation in cinemas is, and although realistic and sad, it opens up a very interesting debate with the audience, since it deconstructs the idealization of eternal love and explores the comings and goings of people in our lives, undeniable fact. Something rich that the script sews is the way it addresses the feeling of pain, longing, love and makes these abstract feelings palpable using explanations of chemical reactions caused by these feelings in our minds and bodies. Unbelievable, but when did we stop to pay attention that our feelings are about chemical reactions caused by substances like 'dopamine' or 'acetylcholine ”? This shows that love and any other emotion are chemical reactions that remind us of how brilliant the human machine that feels, demonstrates and overcomes.

Photography, narration and soundtrack are separate attributes and we see a melancholy and sad “universe” with its greenish tones that give us the feeling of calm at certain times. The soundtrack, with ballads, involves those who watch this sensory universe for an hour and a half. It is a deep dive. The direction explores some different plans and the montage is also free to test different sensations, such as duplicating and repeating the same plan, as soon as the couple gives the first kiss. The rhythm conducts a narrative that does not rush and does not tire, although the ending is faster.

It was time to show love as it is, a feeling that causes disorder wherever it goes and the positive balance is that dealing with relationships that are built on the basis of the repair, the patch, show that we can be supportive of others, be empathic and generous ... after all, love is an exchange, it is receiving and giving without fear. And there is nothing better than watching a movie that does not show unreal love or that supports itself with tents set up at school. Love is more than that ... it is a chemical reaction that relieves, amuses, creates pain, but shows us how we are alive and how good it feels to be.  

Thunder Wave note
The Chemistry Among Us is a production that shows with a clean face the reality of a love built on the basis of "repair" ... it is to understand the other even when we cannot understand each other, it is to support and walk together and in this feature film, overcoming situations that take us off the ground, may take longer than it seems, but that's it. It is rebuilding from the ashes.

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