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CAUSEWAY (2022, USA) – 7/10

After her Oscar-winning career in “Silver Linings Playbook” didn’t quite take off, Jennifer Lawrence decided to return to her somewhat indie roots where she started. Before “The Hunger Games”, Lawrence presented herself as a teenager in Debra Granik’s quality “Winter’s Bone” as a poor girl from the heart of the American redneck in serious existential problems. Jennifer is also in trouble in this ultimately quality, emotional, low-key drama set in New Orleans, where her Lynsey will return after suffering a severe brain injury during her military service in Afghanistan.

In the opening scenes of Lila Neugebauer’s debut film, we see Lynsey practically having to learn everything from scratch. It’s as if she’s been beaten, her motor skills and memory have suffered, and once again she has to master everything that usually comes in childhood. Although it is clear that Lynsey is in bad shape, she hopes to soon return to her old job as an engineer, and while she recovers, she will return to her parents’ house in New Orleans, from which she apparently once disappeared. To imagine that going to the army was also an escape from home and the problems she had there, and if she hadn’t suffered such a serious injury, she probably would never have returned home.

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We will realize in time that Afghanistan and the serious injury may not have been the main trauma for Lynsey, but life at home may have been even more traumatic. While recovering, Lynsey will get a job maintaining the swimming pool, and by chance she will meet car mechanic James (Brian Tree Henry, i.e. Paper Boi from Atlanta), a man who was also seriously injured not so long ago and lost a leg, but he and emotional trauma. And although the meeting of two such people may give a hint that “Causeway” is some kind of heavy darkness, depression from the film, everything is not so black.

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Don’t worry, it won’t develop into some sugary and forced romance between two severely physically and emotionally damaged people, but the sad always seem to find the sad. And while Lynsey is somewhat impatient and wants to return to her old job as soon as possible, and seems to have put on a facade, she will start to open up a little when she becomes friends with James. This loner who seems to have somehow learned that she can’t rely on anyone and that she has to push everything emotionally deep down and swallow somewhere deep inside herself, hide it from everyone, as if she will once again begin to get to know that ordinary, simple life in which nothing may not. And which usually offers everyone another opportunity.

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