Every now and then, I come across a film that just blows me away and renders me inarticulate. There’s so much going on in my head and yet the only thing I can say is wow. Not the exclamatory sort we often encounter in textbooks and reality shows but the quiet sort that resembles a sigh more than an actual word.
Cristián Jiménez’s Bonsai is one such film. After letting out that single wow, I lay still and just allowed my thoughts to steep.
The film’s main character, Julio, is hired (then fired) by a famous writer, Gazmuri, to transcribe his novel. Julio lies to his lover about losing the job and instead begins to write his own story which he passes off as Gazmuri’s. He draws inspiration from a relationship he had eight years back.
There were certain elements in the story which hit close to home and I couldn’t help but feel as if I were being transported back and forth through my own life every time the movie would switch from eight years ago to eight years later and back again.
Two scenes in particular really stood out for me: the street scene towards the end which brought to mind my favorite The Weepies song, World Spins Madly On and the library scene where Julio read a passage from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. I could really feel my heart bleeding along with his.
… but my thoughts had run into a channel of their own, until I myself seemed actually to have become the subject of my book.