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The Red Suitcase (2022)

A single red suitcase rides the carousel at Luxembourg Airport, and sixteen-year-old Ariane (Nawelle Ewad) stands by, watching. She’s nervous to grab The Red Suitcase, she’s afraid to step through the automatic doors, and she’s terrified of what lies in front of her. As she navigates the airport, more and more about who she is and where she’s headed are made known. She refuses to give in to those around her, and she will do whatever it takes to go her own way.

Recently nominated for an Academy Award, The Red Suitcase deserves every ounce of praise that it receives. Sound, editing, acting, and just about everything else plays nicely together throughout the course of The Red Suitcase, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the film and its team leave the Oscars with a trophy in hand.

The score is both harrowing and humbling–putting viewers in their place, reminding them of all that they have and the struggles that they don’t have to face on a daily basis. However, while it does this, it’s important that it supports the film as well. Let’s be clear, a good portion of the film is left without a score, leaving viewers to their own devices and Ewad as the guiding light for The Red Suitcase. The silence is just as important as the music, because it creates a level of intensity that I’m not sure that music can. Silence is deafening in this case, and it constantly forces viewers to focus on the things that are most important on screen–Ariane and her journey. When that score begins, however, it’s like everything else is used to support it and not the other way around. It’s loud and powerful, amplifying what viewers have been anticipating since the beginning. Viewers can feel the score reverberating throughout their bodies, pulling them into The Red Suitcase and giving them all that they could have wanted as the film concludes.

I’m sure you’ve all seen those scenes in film where a character is on camera, the camera quickly moves in one direction, and just seconds later, as the camera pans back, the character in question is gone. Well, I hate those–I hate how cheesy those sequences are and how unrealistic they feel. Where the hell did they go? We see a couple of these throughout The Red Suitcase, but Director of Photography Nikos Welter and Writer-Director Cyrus Neshvad perfect them. They provide answers throughout the course of the film, and they create plausibility. There’s always that bit of doubt that surrounds viewers in moments like these, but the team that creates The Red Suitcase gives viewers reasons to believe that these things could happen–and it works wonders for the film.

And, finally, the acting. Everyone is wonderful, but Neshvad finds the best possible person to lead The Red Suitcase. Ewad is brilliant. She’s subtle in her approach toward drama, harnessing so much of it throughout the film. She carries the film from beginning to end, she’s the reason that emotion constantly shines through, and without her as the lead, I’m not sure that The Red Suitcase finds success the way it does. I’m at a loss for words really when it comes to describing what Ewad brings to the table–she’s just that good.

Again, The Red Suitcase has recently received an Academy Award nomination–and it deserves it. It deserves to stand among the best films of 2022 and to be recognized for all that it does. It’s far reaching, and it has the potential to appeal to the masses. Every single aspect of The Red Suitcase is impressive, and every second of it finds success.

Directed by Cyrus Neshvad.

Written by Guillaume Levil & Cyrus Neshvad.

Starring Nawelle Ewad, Sarkaw Gorany, Anne Klein, Céline Camara, Funk Jerome, etc.




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