A night nurse in a hospital provides special services to families who have recently lost their loved ones. She is a member of a group called the Alps, whose members offer, for a fee, to play recently deceased during visits of their grieving relatives.
O Fortuna (Carmina Burana)
Written by Carl Orff
With kind permission of Schott Music, Mainz See more »
A Predecessor to Black Mirror's Be Right Back
You know that it is unmistakably a Yorgos Lanthimos film when at one point, it sounds as if a male and a female Siri were arguing and having sex.
Alps explores similar themes as the Black Mirror episode Be Right Back, but because the characters possess a higher degree of agency (the substitutes here are other human beings rather than programmed AI encased in a human-like body), it covers territory left unexplored by that BM episode. Infused with Lanthimos' classic dark, absurdist humour, Alps dives into the predatory and manipulative nature of such an enterprise, both within the group of service providers as well as between them and their clients. Seen particularly in the character arc of Monte Rosa are the repercussions of this enterprise on the identities of service providers too. As they ease the bereaved into the grieving process by substituting the deceased, these service providers, each tethered to their own personal baggage, are not entirely immune to the mental and emotional repercussions of this job.
Probing at the supposed boundaries that exist between clients and their service providers, Alps urges us to inquire more deeply into the nature of grief and the grieving process: When do we stop grieving? Do we ever stop grieving? Does such a service aid the healing process? At what point does it devolve into an emotional crutch or an instrument of abuse?
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