Two Days, One Night
Two Days, One Night is an absolutely gorgeous film that follows Sandra, a sweet and struggling woman who is just trying to keep her job. This movie felt like I was I peeking into her life. Sandra is a very vulnerable character who grows stronger throughout the movie.
The movie does not have many surprises, no jump outs, nothing unexpected. Even the title is exactly what it says: it takes place over two days and one night. This is a really special aspect of the film because it’s not about spectacular endings and surprises and unrealistic love stories. Sandra seemed like a very real person in a very real situation.
I want to follow this film specifically through Mise-en-scene. First and foremost, the shots themselves were absolutely beautiful. There were a lot of medium to long shots within the film, which put you at a distance from Sandra. I think this was an incredibly good choice because it gave us a wider view of the world Sandra was living in. Then, when there are close ups, they are very intimate. The first long close up occurs when Sandra told her husband she thought she was nothing. He comforts her and tells her he loves her and that she could fight for her job. It is a very raw, intimate and vulnerable scene.
There was also a lot of vulnerability within shots where you didn’t see Sandra’s face. There were a lot of shots of her looking away from the camera trying to compose herself. I thought that was super brilliant and that it made her seem fragile but also stronger.
Sandra is a character you can root for from the first five minutes of the film. Then, once the audience becomes aware of the fact that she has children, the stakes are really high, and the need for success is even higher. The actress who played Sandra did most of her acting through her face. She would have a lot of frozen moments and small panic attacks that really brought to light just how much she was struggling.
The use of lighting was very natural. The shadows were very soft, and there was nothing that was overly lit. This really added to the fact that this film was supposed to be a reveal of Sandra’s life. If she was in a bus with shadows, her face would be more shadowed. If she was by a window, there would be light streaming in. The movie mostly took place in the daytime, and a lot of the movie took place outside. I found this very interesting, and loved a movie with a lot of very natural lighting. It really added to the reality of Sandra’s situation.
The choice of color was very interesting within the film. Sandra, in specific, had colors that contradicted the way she was feeling. As she was struggling with this terrible day, she was wearing a light pink shirt and light blue jeans. The second day her shirt was a light orange, and even lighter jeans. In contrast, most other characters were wearing black or relatively dark colors. This was such a beautiful contradiction because there was so much physical light surrounding her, even though her insides were so dark.
I also want to highlight the journey that Sandra and her husband went through as a couple. They started out the film with him taking care of her. They fought, and things did not look good. Then, you saw them band together. It was really beautiful, and it was told with just one shot: a pan from her smile, to their hands holding, to his smile. This pan was absolutely gorgeous, and it was the shot in the film that gave me the most hope.
Throughout the film, you slowly saw Sandra digress. She was taking pills the doctor told her she didn’t need, she was crying, she stopped phoning people or trying, and eventually she became numb. I was very worried about her throughout the film. The shot where she takes the pills is so beautiful, because we were seeing her through the mirror. She stayed so calm and detached. There was a very interesting break between the door of the bathroom and her beautiful colored curtains, and then that difference paralleled her taking pills versus her having someone else vote for her.
The entire theme of this movie was the bittersweet aspect of it. Regardless of anything, someone will be happy, and someone will be upset. As we met multiple families, we learned about how hard it would be if they lost their bonuses. I was torn, but definitely loved Sandra and just wanted it to work out for her.
Sandra, most importantly, became stronger throughout the film, and that, in my opinion, was the most best thing she could have done.
I loved this film. It was very simple and very beautiful. I give it four out of five stars.
sounds like a great movie. I’m going to have to check it out. 🙂
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