“The Perfect Man” vs “Elvis”

The opening sequence of the story tells everything. Alma, a divorced childless scientist who is in her fifties, goes on a blind date at a dance hall to meet Tom (Dan Stevens), a robot with a British accent, who is known for her personality and self-reliant and successful. Neurosis is programmed to match. German woman. Since then, Alma and Tom will have to live together at Alma’s apartment for the next three weeks; All as part of an experiment in which Alma decides to participate in exchange for a good amount of Euros.

The genre to which the Hollywood film “The Perfect Man” belongs, that is, the romantic comedy, will show us the technical side of Tom, the robot, to give credence to the character; Maybe we’ll see its circuits and cables or its silicon skin. However, the German director, Schrader, decides to make him a robot from the acting creation of the character created by Dan Stevens. The result is reassuring and lasts. Based on reminding us throughout the film that he is a robot, whether through his mechanically subtle movements or through the phrases of a soft, paused voice, Tom quickly becomes a lovable character. A man that every woman of the postmodern era would like to have in her home. and in his bed.

Tom is understanding; Tom knows how to listen; Tom knows how to clean and shake. That’s for Alma to do to him as she wants. After all, it’s a robot, and machines don’t feel, they don’t suffer. At least that’s what we humans like to believe. Very soon the abuses and injustices come from Alma. Her empowerment drives her to treat a submissive woman as a jerk. The director starts screaming in our faces with his feminist voice: “Today the roles have changed. Now men are the ones who fuck themselves. To see how it feels.”

The scene in which Alma orders Tom to love her, or when she leaves him to wait hours in the rain, reveals her selfishness. Alma’s ego does not allow her to see that although she is a machine, Tom is a perfect man, and with him, more than any other, she can find the happiness she has denied herself over the years. . When this happens, Alma, like many short-sighted men, gets rid of her partner as if it were a disposable diaper. He simply returns Tom to the factory he came from and continues his comfortable existence in solitude. Of course, her status as a successful and independent woman remains intact. They say you can’t live with men, but you can’t live without them either. Maybe the only thing some women need are robots.

Elvis (Baz Luhrmann, USA-Australia, 2022)

The tape, over two and a half hours, is divided into two acts. The first Elvis portrays the rise of Aaron Presley, the white boy from Tupelo, Mississippi, who appropriated the sounds of blues and gospel, turning them into what marketing would call rock and roll, and in the end it would leave him the millionaire profits. The second act deals with describing the debacle of the “King of Rock”‘s marital life and existence, largely caused by the abuse of his chute and the blasphemy of Tom Parker, his eternal and fussy representative.

Nothing beats a director like Baz Luhrmann, the tremendous creativity shown when staging a screenplay written by himself in collaboration with other screenwriters. All this combined with the talents of Director of Photography Mandy Walker, and Master Damien Drew, Production Designer who, among other successes, make the character of Elvis a supernatural and sophisticated creature. glamorReminds me of David Bowie.

Described as a documentary in the eyes of manager Tom Parker, the first act goes smoothly. It stimulates. It is a kind of long video clip where music and short sequences go hand in hand. Elvis’ powerful sequel as a child is his first exposure to gospel music alone, well worth the price of admission. But not everything that shines is gold.

Difficulties arise in the second act, just as Elvis meets his future wife, Priscilla Wagner. At that point the tape breaks and becomes repetitive. And it is that unlike the first act, where the character of Elvis faces some dramatic obstacles on his way to fame, in the second act the story picks up more conflict and, therefore, requires more elaborate acting work.

This is where the film shows the seam; Well, unlike Tom Hanks’ impeccable work in the role of representative Tom Parker, Austin Butler’s performance as the film’s protagonist leaves a lot to be desired. He sheds cheap tears when Elvis’ mother suddenly dies, which takes us to a soap opera in Venezuela. Still, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that “Elvis” was one of the favorites competing for the Oscar for Best Picture. Even, with a little luck, Tom Hanks could aspire to an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. German cinema or Hollywood cinema? Cinema to reflect or cinema to escape from the real world? Romantic comedy or drama? The reader commands.