The Pleasure Is Mine
- English subtitles
For many it’s a dream in these politically and economically uncertain times: going back to basics, a simple life, be close to nature. Young Mexican couple Rita and Mateo take the plunge. But it soon becomes clear that isolation does not bring out the best in their relationship.
Elisa Miller does not mince matters in her second feature film: El placer es mío starts out with a pretty explicit sex scene. It immediately explains the title of the film as well: Rita and Mateo obviously enjoy being together, giving and receiving pleasure.
Playful and in love, that’s how it starts, with Rita and Mateo secluded in their idyllic home in the middle of the Mexican countryside. Too bad about all those unexpected visitors. Rita’s conservative mother has a chastising talk with her daughter about the promising career she left behind in the city. And Mateo’s attractive, flirtatious cousin makes the restless man’s head spin.
The film gradually reveals how our lives are ruled by lust, hidden under a paper-thin layer of affection and good manners.
In subtle scenes, Miller shows fragments of this modest life, in which the cracks slowly but surely begin to appear. Cracks that will be familiar to many: maybe the two moved in with each other a bit too soon, and Rita’s desire to have children is in direct contrast with Mateo’s reticence and fear of commitment. The film gradually reveals how our lives are ruled by lust, hidden under a paper-thin layer of affection and good manners. For this, Miller relies on the phenomenal acting of her two protagonists, who were also deeply involved in the screenplay (which Miller happened to develop at the Binger Filmlab in Amsterdam). Fausto Alzati – not actually an actor, but a poet – keeps Mateo likeable, despite his blunt, boorish and sometimes downright aggressive behaviour. And Flor Eduarda Gurrola as Rita is the emotional heart of the film. A girl whose happy-go-lucky outer shell just barely manages to cover her melancholic core.
Joost Broeren (translation by Marjan Westbroek)