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No Ghost in the Morgue (2022)

Keity Richardson (Schelby Jean-Baptiste) is ready to become a surgeon–and in order to make that happen, she must accept an internship at a morgue. No Ghost in the Morgue shows Keity as she must face her demons, her struggles, and the like as she looks forward to her future. Visions of her grandmother, Myriam (Mireille Metellus), come to her and guide her–and Keity will find that her past is just as important as her future.

Death is the great equalizer, and one day each and every one of us will make their way to the grave. This thought alone plays a significant role in No Ghost in the Morgue, as it allows viewers to better understand and appreciate all that goes into this beautiful story. Understanding that death is simply a part of life, and that we don’t cease to exist when we pass plays such an important role in the film. The dead bodies present in the morgue ultimately become characters, helping to drive the film forward, guide it, and make it relevant. As the bodies lay there, and the other characters address them as if nothing were wrong, viewers are able to better appreciate all that this film is and all that it intends on telling viewers.

There’s such a fantastic blend of reality and magic, and Writer-Director Marilyn Cooke finds a brilliant balance that transcends the entirety of the film. The realistic aspects of the film mirror the struggles of viewers’ own lives, and they are instantly able to make connections between themselves and No Ghost in the Morgue, but the magical aspects allow viewers to find new ways of viewing their realities. Seeing Keity speak with her grandmother creates this magical aura that powerfully shifts the tone of the narrative. As viewers watch this aspect of the film play out, they are drawn further in, they fall in love with Keity, and they understand the importance of her journey. While the idea of magic may initially seem out of place in a film like No Ghost in the Morgue, its importance quickly becomes clear and welcome.

Each and every actor in No Ghost in the Morgue is wonderful, but the individual that steals the show is Michel Laperrière (Doctor Rouleau). He possesses such a Billy Murray-esque energy–and his ability to insert comedy into a series of intense situations is genius. His ability to fill the screen, deliver his lines in such a compelling and unique way, and to bring balance to dramatic film is such an important part of No Ghost in the Morgue. The diverse casting is brilliant, and without that level of diversity present in the film, I’m not entirely sure that the film works as well as it does.

Cooke creates a series of juxtapositions that exist throughout the entirety of No Ghost in the Morgue, and they pay dividends for the film. Every choice that Cooke makes throughout the course of the film, from the casting to the magical realism, plays a pivotal role in the film–and nothing she does lets her down. What I think I’m most impressed with is Laperrière’s presence and his ability to bring a sense of comedy to an intense and meaningful film. The balance that he creates is most welcome–but the film as a whole is simply beautiful.

Written & Directed by Marilyn Cooke.

Starring Schelby Jean-Baptiste, Michel Laperrière, Ariane Bérubé, Mireille Metellus, Alexandra Lafferriére, etc.




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