Meanwhile

Meanwhile

2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5

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With Meanwhile, the effects of Robert Altman’s cinema can now be traced to Argentina. Writer-director Diego Lerman intercuts episodes from the lives of several people living in Buenos Aires: a recently separated couple whose daughter develops a mysterious rash around her waist, another couple who is incapable of conceiving a child, a man who has to lay off a woman under his watch, and a maid who feels increasingly dehumanized by the tasks she’s asked to manage. There are others as well, including a blind man with an ostensibly gigantic cock and a woman at a pet store—existing, like the many piles of poo a naughty dog repeatedly dumps inside its master’s house, as a form of connective tissue. Lerman does not have Altman’s visual grace, but he crisscrosses his stories well enough, conveying a palpable sense of uncertainty as the desperation of his characters come to a boil. Regarding the film’s title, Lerman isn’t simply concerned with the things that are happening at the same time as other occurrences, but what the totality of these events have to say about modern living. One woman in the film repeatedly wakes up as if from a nightmare. Lerman does not explicate her dream life, but we can guess its details, or we can entertain the notion that the lives of the film’s other characters are all inside her head. Either way, Lerman encourages us to connect with the strange currencies of our surroundings.

Runtime
90 min
Rating
NR
Year
2006
Director
Diego Lerman
Screenwriter
Diego Lerman
Cast
Valeria Bertuccelli, María Merlino, Claudio Quinteros, Sergio Boris, Luis Herrera, Tatiana Saphir, Beatriz Thibaudin, Osmar Núñez, Luis Ziembrowsky, Marilu Marini, Paloma Palacios