Maud and Frank are on holiday in Chile. Their relationship is fragile and so is Maud. After many years of trying, it is time to face the fact that they will never have children. However, Maud is in denial. After a huge fight with Frank, she runs off and sets out on a road trip through Chile where she meets a boy that goes by the name of Messi. This chance encounter between Messi and Maud turns into an epic adventure across Chile' s breath-taking landscapes, and down a road of discovery.Written by
The movie won the prize for 'Best Feature Film' at the Limburg Film Festival 2019 in The Netherlands. See more »
A Portrait of Pain
2017 was a rough year for characters portrayed by Rifka Lodeizen, though she fares better here than in "Verdwijnen." In "Messi and Maud" (La Holandesa), Maud has to face the fact that she will never have children, despite years of trying.
This film does one thing very well, and that is to show her sadness and emotional pain. Maud's frustration comes through clearly; we can weep for her. But contrary to Smarthouse Films' claimed storyline, we don't get an "epic adventure." She is joined by Messi, an inadequately parented boy, and they travel together much of the length of Chile. The landscape is interesting, and there are a few cute moments, but not a great deal happens.
More importantly, though, Maud does not seem to travel "down a road of discovery." She shuts her partner (husband?) out of her life and hardly communicates with him. She gets some experience at caring for and worrying about a child. And her feelings are somewhat clear from her actions, which almost get out of control. But we never learn her thoughts. There are just two lines of dialog that express what she may have learned about herself, and that was totally inadequate. Toward the end of the film, I wondered if the director was trying to show us Maud's frustration at her situation by making the viewer equally frustrated at how little she communicated with anyone, including us.
By comparison, Lodeizen's other 2017 lead role in "Verwijnen", aka "Disappearance", leaves the viewer far more satisfied. I blame the writer and director for "Messi and Maud"s shortcomings in that regard. Receiving no closure, we end up seeing "only" a portrait of pain, strong enough to arouse tremendous empathy. We're left hoping that Maud eventually will find happiness. More dialogue -- or even monologue -- would have made this a much better film.
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