DNA – It's Important to Know Your Roots

REVIEW/NATION
by Diana Ushkar
20.12.2020
Maiwenn, a french director and an actress, is famous for producing autobiographical movies, which are made in the best traditions of French cinema. DNA ('Deoxyribonucleic Acid', 2020) is her most recent one. The film is one of the most intimate and explicit ones among Maiwenn's works. It is based on the director's experience — her own way of finding out the roots.
The plot is not that complicated. Neige is a beautiful woman, always dressed up in Amy Whinehouse's style. She managed to get along with her testy mother, selfish sister and sarcastic ex-boyfriend quite well, but became completely frustrated when her beloved father passed away. Being an energetic, interesting person, who spent half of his life in Algeria, her grandfather left Neige a lot of vivid memories, captioned in his book. After his death, Niege read the book and fell in love with Algeria. She started to look at her life differently: she became concerned with her identity and roots, so she decided to take a DNA test.

The main topic is the issue of self-identity. The focus is on the inner world of Neige, who tries to find her place in the world. She tries to recognize Algerian roots inside her and cultivate them, as far as she considers them the heritage. She starts to explore Algerian culture and history, learn the language and implant local traditions in her everyday life. The aesthetics of Algerian culture are shown very well. We can see vivid scenes with Algerian dances, clothes, and cities. Film's soundtrack consists of local music, which makes the story feel authentic. Algeria itself is portrayed in all its beauty, just as paradise, which brings people happiness and joy.
As far as the film is dedicated to the psychological way of self-discovery, it is quite static. Most of the time we see dialogs between Niege and her relatives, in which the characters are being revealed in a great manner. They can be arguing on some naive issues, but in every line, in every action, the viewer can recognize the character of each person. Niege's tough relationship with her mom is shown through the cold tone of their voices and occasional rude comments on some details — all this hints to us that behind such an attitude there is a profound story that still hurts the main character. She admits it and decides to tell her mother about her feelings. Their dialogue is one of the most emotional and the most impressive scenes in the whole movie.


What also makes this film impressive is acting. Though the plot is quite static, it is the emotions and feelings of the main characters that hold our interest. Maiwenn plays the main character, which resembles herself in many ways. And that is why her acting looks really natural. By the way, some big stars of french cinema starred in DNA. For example, charming Louis Garrel, who suits perfectly the role of the sarcastic ex-boyfriend, or Fanny Ardant, who manages to play the cold, sometimes aggressive mother so good, that it was no surprise Niege fears her. The charisma and the talent of other cast members keep the viewer's attention and interest during the whole film.
DNA leaves a sense of something light, though sometimes it triggers tense emotions, in the best traditions of the french cinema. Maiwenn managed to transform quite an ordinary story about exploring your roots into a full value film plot. The movie reminds us that knowing your roots is important. No matter where you are from, your origins are incredible, as far as they make you unique. That is why you should appreciate them.
 
DNA – It's Important to Know Your Roots

REVIEW/NATION
by Diana Ushkar
20.12.2020
Maiwenn, a french director and an actress, is famous for producing autobiographical movies, which are made in the best traditions of French cinema. DNA ('Deoxyribonucleic Acid', 2020) is her most recent one. The film is one of the most intimate and explicit ones among Maiwenn's works. It is based on the director's experience — her own way of finding out the roots.
The plot is not that complicated. Neige is a beautiful woman, always dressed up in Amy Whinehouse's style. She managed to get along with her testy mother, selfish sister and sarcastic ex-boyfriend quite well, but became completely frustrated when her beloved father passed away. Being an energetic, interesting person, who spent half of his life in Algeria, her grandfather left Neige a lot of vivid memories, captioned in his book. After his death, Niege read the book and fell in love with Algeria. She started to look at her life differently: she became concerned with her identity and roots, so she decided to take a DNA test.

The main topic is the issue of self-identity. The focus is on the inner world of Neige, who tries to find her place in the world. She tries to recognize Algerian roots inside her and cultivate them, as far as she considers them the heritage. She starts to explore Algerian culture and history, learn the language and implant local traditions in her everyday life. The aesthetics of Algerian culture are shown very well. We can see vivid scenes with Algerian dances, clothes, and cities. Film's soundtrack consists of local music, which makes the story feel authentic. Algeria itself is portrayed in all its beauty, just as paradise, which brings people happiness and joy.
As far as the film is dedicated to the psychological way of self-discovery, it is quite static. Most of the time we see dialogs between Niege and her relatives, in which the characters are being revealed in a great manner. They can be arguing on some naive issues, but in every line, in every action, the viewer can recognize the character of each person. Niege's tough relationship with her mom is shown through the cold tone of their voices and occasional rude comments on some details — all this hints to us that behind such an attitude there is a profound story that still hurts the main character. She admits it and decides to tell her mother about her feelings. Their dialogue is one of the most emotional and the most impressive scenes in the whole movie.

What also makes this film impressive is acting. Though the plot is quite static, it is the emotions and feelings of the main characters that hold our interest. Maiwenn plays the main character, which resembles herself in many ways. And that is why her acting looks really natural. By the way, some big stars of french cinema starred in DNA. For example, charming Louis Garrel, who suits perfectly the role of the sarcastic ex-boyfriend, or Fanny Ardant, who manages to play the cold, sometimes aggressive mother so good, that it was no surprise Niege fears her. The charisma and the talent of other cast members keep the viewer's attention and interest during the whole film.
DNA leaves a sense of something light, though sometimes it triggers tense emotions, in the best traditions of the french cinema. Maiwenn managed to transform quite an ordinary story about exploring your roots into a full value film plot. The movie reminds us that knowing your roots is important. No matter where you are from, your origins are incredible, as far as they make you unique. That is why you should appreciate them.
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