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Claustrophobic story of a drug dealer and his clients
A day in the life of a drug dealer. We stay with the young man from the moment he wakes up until the next morning. The story is constructed principally around episodes, each dealing with a client or a visit to a friend or family member. Chronological order is followed without flashbacks. A couple of the episodes become interlocked threads that provide the core of the dramatic tension. The episodes run over a wide gamut of situations. From the darkly comic to the heart wrenching.
Location is some undefined large city. The urban landscape is modern and sterile, eerily devoid of people and crowds. The state apparatus and its authorities nowhere to be seen and only implied from dialogue. The film traffics only in the dealer, the junkies that he supplies, and a few friends and relatives. The issue of drug addiction, primarily heroin, is dealt in a level-headed fashion, almost matter-of-fact. Nonetheless, the burden of addiction on the individual, friends and relatives is not hidden.
The primary technique used throughout is circular tracking. The camera circles around characters, often a few times in a single take. Combined with a heavy use of close-ups, the overall experience is claustrophobic. The siege of the camera on the characters enhances the feeling they are prisoners of their unfortunate conditions.
The visual texture is that of a noir, though the dominant hue is blue, dark blue. Reds and greens are rarely seen. This color choice overlaid on a modernistic architecture and a spartan decor give the story a futuristic feel, a sort of post-industrial dysfunctional society where seeing a person smash a car's windshield on the highway or the presence of a dead man's body on a bridge with no police in sight does not seem to raise much of an eyebrow from passersby.
All of this is enveloped by a deep echo chamber meditative music. The events of the day keep piling up into a general sense of pointlessness. There is no promise of anything better for next day's aurora, only another cycle of the same. The only escape for the dealer is a closure of a kind.
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