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The Salt of Tears (NYFF 2020); Grade: B

Strictly Films welcomes you back to more coverage of this years New York Film Festival! Our next film on the block: The Salt of Tears!

The Salt of Tears tells a story about a joiner named Luc (Logann Antuofermo), whom is taking an entrance exam to become a cabinetmaker. It has always been not Luc’s dream to become a cabinetmaker, but it has also been his fathers dream as well. Luc will encounter three on and off flings from Paris and his own home where he works with his father. One being with a girl he has met partaking his entrance exam Djemila (Oulaya Amamra), one being with a girl Luc has some history with since school Genvieve (Louise Chevillotte), and one partaken in a buddy’s double date Betsy (Souheila Yacoub). Witness a man whom has trouble securing a stable relationship, while striving to achieve his dream.

The Cinematography was stunning in this film, capturing a lovely black and white picture. I do believe the black and white choice was a valid choice, as this character goes through some high moments, yet go through low moments as well, regarding in dysfunction with women he partakes in seeing. The Score was alright, I typically enjoy a piano composed score, however this one didn’t impressed me at all, as it sounded more from a beginner level of piano playing. However the music playing in that epic dance sequence was pretty cool. The cast all in all was solid as a whole. Luc played by Logann Antuofermo played a solid performance, as far as the character... I can’t stand this character. The way this man goes on and about from woman to woman, as he even breaks their hearts because he can’t handle a sense of commitment is pretty low. I mean what he does with Djemila pissed me off, like she was a good girl that respected herself and was waiting on his return what gives?! Of course how he reacts to Genvieve’s news is somewhat understandable, yet he didn’t have to be so cruel and rude. Just a very irritating character that’s kind of hard to root for.

You know the ole saying of the best remedy to heal a wound is with salt?! That’s the best way to describe this film honestly. Though we go through Luc’s life of pursing his dream, with financial troubles at hand, and a lost of his loved one... We seem to have a difficult time enduring the struggle/pain this character is enduring, because like the girls Luc is getting involved with time and time again, they represent the salt that is not letting us feel any sense of sympathy towards our lead character. I mean you want to feel bad for this character in some way, yet you really don’t because his dysfunctional nature with these women, make you resent this character.

Due to Luc’s dysfunctional nature we’re witnessing, we’re seeing a complete collapse of his relationship part of his life. From going from two good women whom respect themselves and even one that was a past school sweetheart, we now see Luc in a relationship with another good woman but in a very awkward situation. Which makes Luc have some kind of desire to want to sleep with one his past girls again, only to later on embarrass himself just like how he stood her up.

The story at hand is a complicated romantic drama that really explores the dysfunctional nature of one whom doesn’t have a clear grasp, of what he wants in a relationship. Sure our lead character is in no ways likable, but you understand that’s clearly the point of this entire film, plus adds depth to the title at hand. I felt it could’ve used another ten minutes, as I would like to see where Luc and Betsy endure next moving forward from Luc’s tragic lost. Also didn’t feel the narration was needed in a couple areas, I think the audience could’ve thought for themselves as far as how scenes are set up.

Overall, The Salt of Tears is a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, definitely is smarter than you think. Well wishing myself a Happy 25th Birthday today! Thank you to all the readers and supporters of Strictly Films, it’s always a dream come true to discuss films with each and every one of you on our own platform, Love you and God Bless you all. -Mitch Smietana

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