Hold Me Movie Review
Film reviewed at the 2016 Rome International Film Festival.
We see Hannah (Hannah Fierman), a young woman, soaking in a tub. She looks as if she may cry. We cut to Hannah in an elevator, dressed for a night out. She exits out of the elevator, and we see that this is someone’s home. While sparsely furnished, we can see that the home is of considerable size. Hannah, greeted by a woman who gives the sense that she is used to being in command, moves uneasily to a chair.
The woman tells Hannah that there will be a violinist playing during her time together with Mr. Wagner. The woman attempts to make small talk, but both women are uneasy. They discuss how Hannah’s appearance looks so much like a picture that the woman has provided ahead of time. Hannah is presented with a red dress to get into as the violinist arrives. Hannah changes into the dress and places an old picture of a woman in front of her on the sink, as Hannah compares herself to the woman in the picture.
The violinist begins playing as the woman leads Hannah into a room filled with candles. A feeble old man is lying on a bed. Hannah gets into bed with the man, and they both turn on their sides to look at each other. The old man says to Hannah, “You look just like her.” The man continues to tell Hannah about his wife, who died sometime in the past. As the man talks about life, we see someone beginning to prepare syringes of medicine. The syringes are then plunged into an IV drip. The old man calls out his wife’s name as Hannah gets closer to hug him. Soon he dies in her arms; his last words are his wife’s name.
Hold Me is a poignant and touching story on the euthanasia movement and its effects on not just the patients and their families, but the committed people behind the scenes that help facilitate the death of someone who is in pain. The toll it takes on someone who experiences death is hard but to always be surrounded by death like the Hannah character it has got to be horrible. Hannah is someone who tries to make those last moments easier, connecting with each patient through touch or conversation. It’s not just the mounting losses that Hannah feels; she is also in constant danger of being discovered, and the film uses her story to explore the ramifications of euthanasia as she is constantly dodging getting caught.
Hannah Fierman gives a poignant and understated performance as a woman who is being brought down by her life and its emotional impact. Fierman, known for her roles in the horror films V/H/S and SIREN, brings heartfelt emotion to her scenes. Whether Fierman is alone in her tub trying to soak away the emotions of the day or when she is dealing with her mother (Laura Kenny) who is having health issues of her own, we see in her performance how they affect her character’s life. Fierman’s performance lets us see her character’s pain and suffering as her life spirals out of control.
The cinematography by Aksel Stasny sets the scenes perfectly, from the starkness of the hospital room to the lighted candle opulence of the lavish house of Hannah’s first patient. The exquisite score by Alexandra Stréliski brings out the passion and nuances of each scene, reinforcing what Hannah is feeling and thinking, Writer/director Teace Snyder brings us a thought-provoking story that shows the consequences the people involved with the euthanasia movement deal with on a daily basis. As we see with Hannah, those consequences have an impact that goes deep into the soul. My Rating: Full Price
My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
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