It has been a long time since I’ve seen a film with subtitles. This one left me melancholy, wishing for a success story not so tinged with disappointment. It is for this reason more than any other that I award this film only three stars. However, given the the face value of the unalterable storyline, it was impeccably and beautifully done.
We respect Coco’s pluck and independence. We appreciate her undaunted sense of style and no frills practicality. We do not fault her concessions, even though we wish there was another way. And we feel her defiant resolve combined with cataclysmic heartbreak. She is honest with herself – capable and unafraid in a world dominated by ineffectual men. Constraints don’t suit her; she wants out of not only the physical corsets of her day but the the social ones as well. She will not get married; she wishes to work to make her own way in the world. She gets her chance, fortunately (and you are aware how many women do not), and this opportunity for freedom comes with even the hoped for covert love starkly and abruptly missing.
While this is a period piece, it has a timeless quality too that causes one to wonder how different the world really is today. As they say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” We all make our own destinies, by playing the hands we are dealt. May we do it with as much pluck and creativity as Coco, leaving the world a better place because we were here.