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‘Atlantics’ (Netflix) Review – Hauntingly Romantic!

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Rating:  4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 

The Final shots in the movie may well be extremely riveting for a movie that is basically a Romantic affair at its core. You cant help but fall in love with the characters and the movie once the credits start rolling. Mati Diop’s visionary debut is also a Commentary on the Social inequalities prevailing in the livelihoods of the Dakar, Senegal.

There is a reason this movie won The Grand Prix at Cannes this year, also making the December Shortlist at the Oscars for Best International Feature Film representing Senegal. The atmospheric mood of the film resonates with cultural and social relevance of the country, and it doesn’t take time for viewers to easily slip in to the lives of characters and the story.

Even though I am skeptical about the whether the bonding between Ada (Mame Sane) and Souleiman (Ibrahima Traore) should have been explored a bit more, I am not complaining much. Diop cleverly shifts to portray the internal conflicts and social pressures that a woman must face when she is going to get married to a wealthy and socially relevant man. When Ada realizes that her lover has gone missing in the Sea, she hesitantly agrees to marry Omar , the rich guy. But when she realizes Souleiman is back, she wants to get back with him. What follows is THE TWIST that can be genre bending and creative yet remains haunting.

Mathon’s lenses add beauty and purpose to Diop’s vision. Those waves of Atlantic Ocean keeps coming at you at various places – first in the beginning when Soulieman travels back to his home and during the scenes when the supernatural instances are about to appear. Like perfectly paired couple, Al Qadiri’s music effectively complements the visuals, thereby only adding to the overall atmosphere of the film that Diop wants to convey. It is her musical score that brings you the supernatural sense, even the ocean makes you feel THE PRESENCE. Hats off for Diop for not letting her creative imagery diluted for the sake of producing a more familiar product.

Verdict: Watch it – for its sheer brilliance in adding a creative twist to the already existing worn – out genre, that is – HORROR story. Wait! Did I mention Romantic Movie at the beginning?? Well..

Original Title: Atlantique (French)
Director: Mati Diop
Writers: Mati Diop, Olivier Demangel
Cast: Mame Bineta Sane, Ibrahima Traoré , Amadou Mbow
Cinematography: Claire Mathon
Country: Senegal
Language: Wolof (Language of Senegal)

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