A film about the harsh realities of parenting, Netflix's latest thriller, Fever Dream, delivers it in a silver platter, the kind a parent wouldn't like. The film is directed by Claudia Llosa, an adaptation of Argentinian author Samantha Schweblin's novel.
The film revolves around Amanda (María Valverde) and her daughter Nina (Guillermina Sorribes Liotta), who travel to a small town in Argentina for the summer. She quickly befriends Carola (Dolores Fonzi), her neighbor who also has a kid, David (Emilio Vodanovich). The story unfolds of the strange town when Amanda and Nina are stuck and reach an unfortunate end.
Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead.
'Fever Dream': Takeaway from the thriller
Fever Dream is a story that interweaves real-life catastrophe with the supernatural. Thankfully, all of it is beautifully captured in the fast friendship between Amanda and Carola that often happens between adults. The movie also highlights the deep-seated terror of not being good parents and that their children will eventually suffer due to their decisions. The film can be seen as a moral tussle between a woman’s social responsibility and her motherly instincts.
Not to forget the brilliant performance by David, who effortlessly switched between being adorable, brutally honest and also represented (metaphorically) the social responsibility humans hold. What makes the movie even more convincing is the unexplained-ness of the film, which acts as an intentional metaphor towards one's obliviousness towards environmental damage. The soul splitting and residing with each other amongst both the kids depicts (metaphorically) the damage pesticides can do.
Fever Dream discusses the often recurring ideas of darkness and their unspoken answers, specifically the what-ifs that everyone hides from. Perhaps mothers imagine the worst that could happen to create a delusion of thinking that they can even imagine the worst that can happen. The constant fear of one's child becoming a stranger resonates with every parent.
Cinematographer Oscar Faura perfectly captured the notion that every step of parenthood leads to unstable, unpredictable ground, where the previous rules no longer apply.
Fever Dream is now streaming on Netflix.