Críticas, Estrenos

The Neon Demon – Pulir la superficie

Pese a la disparidad de sus formas y resultados, las dos películas más abucheadas de la pasada edición del Festival de Cannes rebosan contemporaneidad. Cada una a su manera (a la de sus directores, ambos con un sello personal indiscutible e inimitable), Personal Shopper y The Neon Demon hablan, en cierto modo, de lo superficial y vacuo de nuestras vidas, de la situación del individuo en una sociedad cada vez más dominada por las nuevas tecnologías, entre otras cosas. Si bien es cierto que el último punto es mucho más adecuado para referirse al nuevo trabajo de Olivier Assayas, pues Nicolas Winding Refn ha decidido reciclar o actualizar un discurso que alcanzó sus cotas más altas hace ya 20 años con el estreno de Showgirls, el incomprendido film de Paul Verhoeven, también lo es que la concepción de ambas películas abraza el ahora, lo instantáneo y lo efímero.

neon 1

Dicha recepción es una muestra inequívoca de lo mucho que nos cuesta aceptar la realidad de nuestro mundo proyectada en superficies que se empapan del trasfondo, de esa realidad de la que hablamos. Es por eso que sería realmente injusto considerar The Neon Demon como una cinta vacía o incoherente, pues, aunque es cierto que fondo y forma se (con)funden, en un principio son muchos los temas de interés que se ponen sobre la mesa. Esta sátira repleta de simbolismo (marca de la casa NWR, como se empeña en aclarar tanto al principio como al final de la película) al mundo de la moda transita a nivel narrativo por caminos muy similares a los de la ya mencionada Showgirls, además de emparentarse directamente con Passion de De Palma en su reiterativo juego de espejos, dominado por el ansia de éxito y la envidia, en el plano profesional y, especialmente, en el de la belleza estética. Tal es el mundo en el que se ve inmersa Jesse (Elle Fanning), una joven e inocente modelo que se muda a Los Ángeles para participar de ese circo de difícil acceso y aún más complicada permanencia, que no le quedará más remedio que desarrollar un instinto de supervivencia basado en alimentar al demonio que lleva(mos) dentro.

demon 2

En medio de una división crítica incomprensible, con voces que sitúan la propuesta entre lo mejor del siglo y otras que la rechazan sin miramientos, es necesario aplaudir el estilo audiovisual del cineasta danés, que, a pesar de su autocomplacencia y ensimismamiento, cada vez mayores, es único cuando se trata de construir atmósferas sugestivas y set pieces dignas del Dario Argento de Suspiria. Y así es como comienza un film que encuentra sus mejores momentos en sus fases menos narrativas, cuando sus imágenes, texturas y sonidos podrían pertenecer sin ningún problema al género de terror. Por lo demás, The Neon Demon tiende a sufrir las consecuencias de su esteticismo, la necesidad de Refn por dejar su impronta en todos los planos. Presentar el primer encuentro entre las protagonistas a través de espejos, estableciéndose ese primer contacto mediante sus respectivas proyecciones, es una decisión inteligente e interesante; sin embargo, repetir ese recurso durante dos horas termina transmitiendo pereza y agotamiento narrativo. En su primera película protagonizada por féminas, Refn parece haber encontrado en Elle Fanning a su nínfula particular, su objeto de deseo fílmico. Es en el incesante seguimiento de la actriz, lleno de símbolos en la puesta en escena (evidente contraste entre el rojo de la sangre y el color azul) y acompañado en todo momento por la excelente partitura de Cliff Martinez, donde las intenciones, o al menos las posibilidades que atisbamos al comienzo, quedan reducidas a una cuestión de forma, que no es negativo per se pero sí clarividente.

demon 3

En esta ocasión, para saber si nos encontramos ante una obra maestra, una nadería inmediatamente olvidable o una película entre tantas, habrá que esperar a que la polarización se reduzca, algo que muy probablemente no ocurra ni con el paso de los años. Lo único que queda claro es que, a no ser que vuelva a dirigir un trabajo de encargo, NWR seguirá confeccionando obras con su estilo, más definido y radical en cada uno de sus trabajos. The Neon Demon no es más que la enésima muestra de un autor que intenta seguir descubriéndose a sí mismo. Veremos hasta dónde puede llegar.

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