AINO SUDI | FINLAND | 2022 | 104 MIN | FINNISH + FRENCH S.-T.EN.
“I’ll drag you down to hell with me,” raps Elina, prophetically, early on. Upon moving from Finland to the opulent French Riviera, she becomes fixated on Sofia, an alternatingly sweet and self-indulgently cruel ballet dancer, and the two begin a psychologically abusive relationship in this neo-noir stunner.
Elina (non-binary actor Elsi Sloan) is a gender-defying teenager who inhales crime series and covets a “grandiose” death. When Sofia (Carmen Kassovitz, star of Stalk) becomes her new pseudo-stepsister and bunkmate, Elina finds herself treacherously smitten. Driven by the worst excesses of toxicity, her hair radioactive green, Elina is infected by mutations of love, lust and jealousy she tries to contain in her rap lyrics, but which leak out, monstrously, into the real world. Aino Suni’s profoundly unsettling Heartbeast is enthralling from the first neon-lit frame to the last. It shimmers and shudders along with killer dissolves and immersive sound editing, grounded by commanding performances from the two leads. With shades of Black Swan and The Talented Mr. Ripley, the film explores, with heart-thumping attention, the sharp edges of amour and the female pain at the core of much masculinized mainstream success.
screening at Cinéma J.A. de Sève | NOVEMBER 25TH 9PM
ONLINE (November 26th to 30th)