I suppose, if I dug down deep into the feelings surrounding my first real heartbreak at the ridiculously late age 28, I could find some things that I’m not proud of. In our lowest, most vulnerable, most wounded states, we do things that are not like us, illogical, detrimental and just plain ugly. Love (or at least extreme psychological attachment) in my limited experience, can make us monsters and while staring up from that pit, waist-high in emotional sludge, some choose to (at least for a while) wallow, reject help and refuse to crawl out and rise above it. There are times when we are compelled, where it feels almost necessary, to stay where it’s familiar rather than get out and let go.
Despite being able to relate on some small level to Lucia in the film Inercia, I’m not a dweller and it’s hard to watch someone make choices you don’t feel can ever result in a happy or even remotely positive ending. One likes to think that they’ve learned from their own experiences and it makes for an uncomfortable encounter to not be able to counsel or influence those on the other side of the screen. But, obviously uncomfortable is not always bad. In some cases uncomfortable and difficult are the exact effects a good film aims to achieve.
This is a film that I liked a lot more after I thought about it for a while. Several days after examining the part of me that understood the space this reunited couple found themselves in, I reconciled to embrace it, rather than dismiss it. The comfort and excitement of the past, the allure of being needed and of being taken care of, being presented with an escape from a monotonous reality and perhaps relishing in something that is safe only because you can easily sabotage it, are all well explored themes in the film. While searching for closure where there cannot ever likely be any, there was also hope that being reminded of the truth, could at least be the rope out of the hole. I found myself switching back and forth between wanting to help and eager they’d just get what they surely deserved already. It’s a well titled film when you get to the end…one cannot really do much at all about the law of inertia.
I was initially really a bit repelled by the neglect that exists in this film. In every sense of the word this is a world of self-denial, avoidance of responsibility, and just wretched, depressing neglect. Everyone, even the dog is being deprived. It all seemed so irredeemable and pathetic, which isn’t a place I often like to go in my movies. But, the acting is compelling and the writing tight and the pictures do move.
Is it a pleasant film? No, certainly not. Is it well made? Yes, very much so. Is it unique? I’d say yes, in the way that it tells a relatable, destructive story that is on some level a therapeutic one too. I do not have to agree with or even like a film to “like” a film and this is one that lives in that tormented universe of limbo. A reflective, somber 4 out of 5 jewels in the review tiara for a film about the dysfunctional spaces love and heartbreak can take us and what it takes to truly heal from the forces of nature, namely ourselves. Inercia shows with Spanish subtitles and has four screenings as part of the Cinequest Film Festival March 4th-16th.