From the maker of Married Life and Love is Strange is this Parisian set seductive drama on the messiness of relationships.
Ira Sachs’ (in French with English subtitles) Passages has a changed intimacy about it that finally becomes emotionally devastating. As it revolves around Franz Rogowski’s very elf-center German filmmaker in a long-term union with British Artis Martin (Ben Whishaw of: No Time To Die, Women Talking). The artist happens to be a walk on in his latest production.
Sachs and Rogowski prime this tale of lust and turmoil with remarkable, if flighty aura given how Thomas is often situated on-screen, demonstrating the trust and persuasion of filmmaker and actor. The narrative, co-written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, considers the ramifications of the restless Thomas embarking on an affair with a teacher Agathe (Adele Exarchopoulos) at an after party.
Thomas in his outsized ego romances Agathe and Martin in ways that doesn’t prove satisfying leading to what lovers can inflict at last bing a turnabout for a gradual loss of psychological bearings.
As convincing as the Passages is in its ‘horrific car accident’ machinations it may be too discomfiting or inexplicable for some viewers. Yet Sachs handles it all with a rather wis depth of humanity in Rugowski’s deplorable, but understandingly charismatic vainglory. In this troubling, though truthful love triangle Rama the setting is mainly interior reflecting the agonized minds of domesticity with honesty avoiding mawkish, bombastic flourish. And, Whishaw and Exarchopoulos of Blue is the Warmest Color complement their remarkable do-star in striking thoughtful ways too.