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Sundance 2021: “These Days”


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

COVID-19 managed to disrupt the life of every single individual on Earth. Lives lost, economies shattered, women and men (mostly women) locked inside homes with their abuser. Marriages collapsing, relationships that were supposed to be strong weakened during the pandemic. Seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel except for a creative mind that will know what to and how to use time in order to create something we all can look back upon and admire.

Created, written and directed by Adam Brook, “These Days”, captures the life of Mae (Marianne Rendon), a professional dancer who happens to be single and all alone during COVID lockdown. As she tries to navigate through the digital world, including online dating, she seems positive and hopeful. But only when she talks to a friend or with her online date. The question is, can she manage her loneliness which the harsh situation has brought her? Is she mentally strong enough to overcome demons that attack her in her head when she speaks to no one?

One particular scene that stands out is when Mae, as she speaks with a friend over the phone, listens to the sounds of fight coming from her neighbors (she is not sure which one though). “These Days”, within the first twenty-two minutes of running time, manages to capture abuse, loneliness, difficulties of online relationship, bad internet connectivity, and a state of mind mostly, that is not ready to fight off the isolation COVID brought. Indeed, “These Days” can be considered as a comedy series but is it funny to watch people struggle one way or another? Not really. But what makes it beautiful and real is its humane approach, honesty and willingness to explore the grey areas of our mind the cinematic universe has not gotten a chance to explore yet.

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