Berlinale | Jesse Eisenberg and Adrien Brody are masculinized

The inherent flaws of masculinity have been made a mainstream cinematic issue for years, and with good reason — and most of the movies that talk about it focus on the harm it does to women. Manodrome premiered on Saturday in competition at the Berlinale, deals with Exploring the effects of the virus on a psychologically vulnerable man.

In any case, she is not interested in using her hero as a representative of either the movement led by so-called ‘incels’ – involuntary bachelors – or the kind of misogynistic spectacle embodied by ‘influencers’ like Andrew Tate. “I didn’t want to make a movie about the far right or the Internet,” South African director John Trengrove told the press. “It is a broader crisis, caused by men suppressing their feelings and overcompensating with aggressiveness and posturing.& rdquo;.

“Manodrome” centers on an Uber driver who, while trying to deal with anxiety about impending fatherhood and the recent loss of his job, He tries to hide his trauma —abandonment by parents, a childhood marked by overweight, an attraction not assumed by people of the same sex—underneath the muscles he obsessively fueled in the gym; in their skin.

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Jesse Eisenberg gives one of his best performances thanks to Its ability to suggest terror, fragility, despair and anger imposed as a shield. Alongside him, Adrien Brody displays the perfect blend of charisma and menace, as he gives life to the guru of a cult that promotes manhood based on utter contempt for women. Indeed, both actors’ work is at its best in a film that is ultimately less interested in exploring its premise’s connections to the real world than borrowing a hodgepodge from films like The Club lucha (1999) and ‘The Master’ (2012), which menace in Sometimes making incomprehensible links between misogyny and latent homosexuality.

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Even worse, the fate of the anti-protagonist seems determined from the first moment we see him, and as we see him sink gradually In misery, he becomes more and more concerned with the possibility of his redemption.

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