Eye For Film >> Movies >> Rain, Rain, Go Away (2023) Film Review
Rain, Rain, Go Away
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
Sometimes we can’t reckon with the past until it ceases to be part of the present.
When Clari (Carolina Lopes) thinks about her grandfather, she thinks about flowers. A whole field full of flowers, warm and inviting. Daisies in the palm of his hand. She’s having a flower tattooed on her wrist. Perhaps it will help her to hold onto happy memories, now that he’s gone.
She hasn’t been tattooed before. The tattoo artist is sympathetic, trying to make conversation to help her relax, but she’s stand-offish. Perhaps it’s because of her grief. Back in her flat, alone, she tries to keep herself occupied with day to day things. Then the phone rings unexpectedly. It’s Poppy, a childhood friend whom she hasn’t heard from for years. Commiserations are offered. Clari expresses her confusion at this sudden contact. Then Poppy explains that she needed closure, and Clari’s world falls apart.
Stylishly shot with a heavy emphasis on the floral imagery which helps to bind together strands of fractured narrative, this intense short, which screened as part of Frightfest 2023, uses a childhood song for atmosphere but also for narrative context. When it rains we don’t go outside. We play indoors, and for some children, that’s a lot more dangerous. Viewers who understand why for personal reasons need not fear that there is anything explicit here except for one brief statement, but may find director Sebastiano Pupino’s skilful evocation of the process of confronting memory distressing nonetheless.
It is memory, really, which the film hinges on, rather than what is remembered. The use of visual techniques borrowed from giallo helps to communicate Clari’s growing sense of horror, her sudden inability to escape from something which she had previously learned not to think about. Lopes’ acting carries the rest. The flowers change their meaning. The tattoo becomes an unwanted thing, a reflection of the internal scars which, for many people, never fade; and black ink, once released, flowing into water, conjures up a different kind of horror which all too often follows suit.
Though its final line feels somewhat moot, it arguably reflects the point at which the surreal world of memory collides with the blunt ordinariness of day to day life, making it impossible to deny any longer. The film is an impressive translation of an internal experience which is rarely discussed into a form where more people can connect with it and begin to understand.Reviewed on: 30 Aug 2023