Cause for rum-ination
35 Shots of Rum, daily life drama, not rated, in French and German with subtitles, The Screen, 3.5 chiles
IThe four main characters in 35 Shots of Rum live in the kind of suburban high-rise that we don’t see much of in New Mexico. It’s a large block of a building, both tall and wide. The tenants own their apartments — it’s not posh, but it’s hardly a slum, either. To people who live in one-story houses in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it might seem strange that others would opt to live stacked on top of one another like this. It would seem to be a life devoid of peace or solitude, as members of a buzzing hive.
To a certain extent, this is not a false assumption. The lives of these four Parisians constantly overlap, and they frequently seem to be in one another’s business. But when director Claire Denis ( Beau Travail) pulls back to show us exterior shots of the building at night — geometrically perfect, surprisingly colorful, aesthetically beautiful — we get an impression of what life might really be like here. Through the windows, we see the people of this building cut apart from one another, each in his or her own little box.
35 Shots of Rum deals with the ways we fail to connect with other people — even with those we live with, hold affection for, and see every day. The movie is not depressing. It is a quiet examination of the daily life of blue-collar workers, but it is not