Gagarine Movie Review

Gagarine Movie Review And Synopsis

The first feature-length work of fiction that Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh have directed is titled “Gagarine.” The film takes place in the remarkable Cité Gagarine, a multi-building housing project in the suburbs of Paris, France, that is red and white in color.

The film is an adaptation of their short film from 2015 with the same name, which featured interviews with people who actually lived in the project. Additionally, there are some of those folks present here.

Built in the early 1960s in the socialist municipality of Ivry-sur-Seine, Cité Gagarine was named after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.

In the opening sequence of the movie, we watch him in historical footage making the journey to the site’s June 1963 opening ceremony.

Youri (Alséni Bathily), a young guy who aspires to become an astronaut like his namesake before him, is the one responsible for concocting that space-based pipe dream.

Youri is more of an introvert than the average person, yet he is driven to do everything in his power to save Cité Gagarine from being demolished. He is under the impression that if he can prevent the building from going into a state of deterioration that is too severe, the authorities won’t decide to demolish it.

As a result of this, he acts as a broker for lighting fixtures and uses the mechanical knowledge he has acquired to attempt to repair the broken elevators and shutters. His best friend Houssam (Jamil McCraven) connects him with a similarly technically minded adolescent Roma girl named Diana (Lyna Khoudri), who can obtain them supplies.

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His greatest friend Houssam is also a mechanic (and advise them on their electrical work). She and Youri both have a passion for Morse Code, which ultimately leads to the development of a charming and passionate attraction between the two of them.

Youri uses his mother’s jewelry as currency to purchase the items he requires from the store. He is now living alone in the apartment they shared in the projects because she has left him there and moved in with a new boyfriend who does not want Youri around.

The way in which this event is handled in the screenplay is, at best, superficial; yet, it does serve as a jumping off point for the symbolism that is imposed onto Youri.

He is a solitary person who adopts Cité Gagarine in a symbolic sense so that he can care for it in the manner in which he longs to have been cared for by his absent parent. He is the beating heart of Cité Gagarine.

For a period of time, the community as a whole serves as his extended family; but, as the impending destruction grows closer, they eventually disperse. Youri has nowhere else to go, so he makes the decision to remain in his apartment in order to delay the demolition.

“Gagarine” never makes any attempt to gloss over the serious problems it raises, but it also never wallows in any of the hardships that its characters, who are primarily immigrants and destitute, must endure.

There is happiness to be found in this place, as seen by the scene in which the residents of the neighborhood watch an eclipse with bated breath or the moment in which actual locals dance on the rooftops.

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On the other hand, there is a building inspector who marches callously through one of the buildings, ignoring the complaints of residents who have potentially hazardous maintenance issues.

Because Houssam’s dad is so loud about how much of a deathtrap his flat is, a desperate act occurs that ultimately decides the fate of the entire community.

Throughout “Gagarine,” there are a few brief sequences of fantasy that have Youri dressed as a spaceman and bathed in a crimson glow. These kinds of events are happening increasingly frequently as the date for the destruction of Cité Gagarine approaches.

They are nicely done, and the moment when the building appears to flash out “SOS” in Morse code has a powerful and moving effect that cannot be denied.

However, the majority of the time, they give the impression that they are depriving the movie of a more profound and spiritual connection to the human interactions that the performers portray so beautifully.

Because it demonstrated that the film’s realism was already magical enough without any embellishment, I would rather have more scenes like the one where Youri, Diana, and their former neighbor Dali (Finnegan Oldfield) dance in a deserted area of the building that has been turned into a model of a space station.

In spite of these caveats, “Gagarine” is still deserving of your recommendation.During the time that the directors were shooting their short film, the projects were planned to be destroyed.

This feature film was produced just prior to the concluding act, and it contains some of the very last video that is known to exist of the area.

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The song “Gagarine” has the feel of a melancholy lament for a community that came together during difficult times but was eventually torn apart and scattered to the winds, leaving no trace of their communal existence behind.

They want to take us into outer space when we would rather just stay on the ground, but the camaraderie between the characters is so powerful and effective that it makes Liatard and Trouilh’s occasional forays into magical realism feel intrusive and forced. The characters have a strong bond with one another.

 

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Gagarine Movie Review