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New Order ★★★★



Director: Michel Franco

Cast: Naian González Norvind, Diego Boneta, Mónica del Carmen, Eligio Meléndez

Released: 13th August 2021 (UK)

Michel Franco may be a film festival regular, but his previous works seem to have been ignored by audiences. Chronic, After Lucia and April’s Daughter are all worth seeking. His focus on Mexico and the people who reside there gives a fresh take on life in the country. During the 2020 festival circuit, his latest film New Order has been raising a few eyebrows along with dividing the critics.

Set in the not so distant future during Marianne’s (Naian González Norvind) wedding at a spectacular family home. The party is besieged by a number of unexpected incidents: the registrar is late; social disturbances delay guests en route, and former employee Rolando (Eligio Meléndez) turns up seeking a loan to get his wife urgent medical help. When Marianne attempts to aid Rolando, she finds herself caught up in a riot that rips through her wedding festivities with shocking consequences.

Michel Franco’s deep dive into chaos is rather striking. New Order doesn’t take sides whatsoever as it journeys through rage and destruction. As the film opens with a barrage of colour and sinister imagery, you can sense Franco will not be taking prisoners on this journey. While it may be seen as a class divide story, it still represents how lower classes still suffer even during turbulent times. Yet Franco never forces you to empathise nor emotionally cling onto these characters. He is simply asking you to sit down and feel terribly uncomfortable within this stylish nihilistic nightmare.

Yves Cape, who has worked with the likes of Leos Carax and Claire Denis, brings a cold yet vibrant lens to the screen. The camera barely moves or cuts away as these torturous moments unfold. There is something quite satisfyingly unnerving watching the street scenes from Cape. There is a lot of beauty within the bloodied and haunting images. As New Order builds momentum, it never pauses to breathe, and its intensity goes beyond the boiling point.

As the revolution unfolds, Franco never shows the wider scope of the events, nor does he spoonfeed why this is happening. The sheer feeling of anarchy, selfishness and emotionless disconnection creates a juggernaut of pure skewed morals. Society can create a lot of toxicity, and Franco doesn’t shy away from it. Drenched within its nihilistic tendencies, New Order takes no prisoners. Within a vast amount of stylistic colour is a cold and non-merciful film.

Lover of all things indie and foreign language. Can be found rambling on YouTube at times!

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