‘La Chimera’ review: Josh O’Connor robs tombs in this magical film | Trending Viral hub

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In Alice Rohrwacher The Chimera, the past is so close you can almost touch it. In fact, many characters do.

The film’s central gang of Italian grave robbers, or tombaroli — they regularly loot tombs scattered throughout the Tuscan countryside. They physically force historical artifacts into the present, transporting them from their former homes of earth and stone to buildings of glass and steel, where they will be sold to the highest bidder.

But the past persists here in other ways, too. Our main tomb raider, an Englishman named Arthur (Challengers and The crown‘s Josh O’Connor), is tormented by visions of his lost love Beniamina (Yile Yara Vianello). But are these memories, dreams, or some more ghostly calling? The Chimera It thrives in that confusing zone between life and death, past and present, creating a beautiful fantasy that is equal parts charming and melancholic.

The Chimera invites us to a story of tomb raiders.

Three grave robbers excavate a grave along a small dirt road.

Melchiorre Pala, Josh O’Connor and Vincenzo Nemolato in “The Chimera.”
Credit: Courtesy of Neon

Our first introduction to Arthur is not that of an Indiana Jones-style archaeologist, but rather that of a disheveled, down-on-his-luck man. Freshly released from prison for some old-fashioned grave robbing, Arthur curls up asleep in a train car, dressed in a rumpled white suit. There’s something attractive about him: the three young local girls sitting nearby can’t help but ask him where he’s from. However, there is also something volatile to him. A comment from a passing salesman about how bad Arthur smells provokes his ire, sparking a miniature fistfight that causes all the passengers on the train to run away from this angry foreign stranger.

It is in this state of anger that Arthur returns to his home in Tuscany, where his companions tombaroli wait for his return. Despite Arthur’s initial desire to keep his distance, especially from the mysterious antiquities dealer known as Spartacus (Alba Rohrwacher), it’s not long before he’s back in the tomb-raiding business. It turns out that he has a knack for finding ancient burial sites using a divining rod, a skill he brings to the table. tombaroli describe him as a kind of sorcerer.

Rohrwacher and cinematographer Hélène Louvart lean heavily on the magical realism of Arthur’s mysterious power. The scenes of his search are carefully filmed, while his moments of discovery turn the entire world upside down. It is a striking motif, reminiscent of the image of the hanged man in tarot decks (which is also referred to in one of The Chimeraof posters).

Alice Rohrwacher creates a soft fantasy with The Chimera.

A group of men and women ride a tractor during a parade.

Luca Gargiullo, Melchiorre Pala, Vincenzo Nemolato, Ramona Fiorini, Josh O’Connor and Giuliano Mantovani in “The Chimera.”
Credit: Courtesy of Neon

Arthur’s gift is far from the only fantastic element in The Chimera, which is so full of magic that it welcomes us to a state close to sleep. Beniamina’s memories show images that would be right at home in a fairy tale: flocks of birds in flight, lost figures wandering through beautiful landscapes, and a red thread dragging Arthur toward an impossible treasure.

Elsewhere, Arthur often visits Beniamina’s mother, Flora (Isabella Rossellini), in her enormous house, which is so vast and beautifully frescoed that it might as well be a palace. Aside from Arthur, Flora’s only companion is her music student Italia (Carol Duarte), whom she treats more like a maid. Sometimes her flock of daughters stop by too, but her constant gossip and scheming about Italy is more reminiscent of evil stepsisters than loving family members.

It is with these bricks that Rohrwacher builds the fantasy of The Chimera, along with some lighter touches. A musical group’s song about Arthur and the tombaroli It forms a charming accompaniment to his exploits, placing us in what seems like a much older adventure film. Sometimes, the characters turn to the camera to confide directly to the audience. In others, the footage is sped up to create delightfully choppy chase scenes. There’s a real sense of freedom in all this experimentation, and you can’t help but be carried away by Rohrwacher’s vision.

Josh O’Connor is excellent at The Chimera.

A woman rests her head on a man's shoulder as they stand on a beach below a factory.

Carol Duarte and Josh O’Connor in “The Quimera.”
Credit: Courtesy of Neon

Throughout these fantastic interludes, Rohrwacher and O’Connor maintain The Chimera rooted in Arthur’s loss and grief. While the tombaroli He hunts artifacts for financial gain, his search walking the line between the need for money and the need to find greater meaning. The first mentions of a door to the afterlife give us clues to the true purpose of his constant search, even as elements of his life (such as a possible romance with Italy) tie him even closer to the outside world.

O’Connor is achingly excellent as Arthur, threading the needle between his desperate search and the more grounded aspects of his time away from the world. tombaroli. That balance is present throughout the entire film, but especially in a party scene in which one minute we see him longing for Italy and the next digging like a madman in the dirt. It’s an unexpected combination of charm and bewitchment, and O’Connor nails every beat. You find yourself wanting to jump to the ground next to him and search for the many buried treasures. The Chimera still has it in store.

The Chimera It’s already in theaters.



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