How does one begin to comprehend the magnitude of what has happened to the world in the last ten months? It’s strange to see reality so eerily reflected on screen — and in a film like The Pink Cloud, it’s like looking into a slightly distorted mirror universe.
The Pink Cloud, directed by Brazilian filmmaker Iuli Gerbase, follows Giovana and Yago who unexpectedly have to quarantine together after a one night stand because of a deadly pink cloud that invades the city overnight.
While The Pink Cloud was written in 2017 and filmed in 2019, it invites the audience to reflect our own experience in the past year. How have we handled it? How have we changed? It’s the type of film that in 2021, will leave the viewer with a heaviness in their mind.
Under pastel shades of pink and lavender, the quarantine rages on, tearing at the couple’s mental states. The pair go through the motions of normality, but it’s twisted — a mimicry of the banality of everyday life they are used to. As time passes, they are forced to confront their relationship and the future against the uncertainty of the world. Trapped in a present that does not want to let them grow outside the boundaries of their home, they both resent and depend on each other’s loneliness. Years start to pile up.The pair have a child together — but Giovana’s isolation only grows deeper. Yago has adapted to indoor living, seemingly resigned to spending the rest of his days inside their home. Their son takes it a step further, and in one scene, asks the Pink Cloud to never go away through a window. Giovana has become an outsider in her own home and Gerbase’s light pink tinted bubble world reveals just how solitary life has become for Giovana.
When Yago and their son gift Giovana a VR headset, she hides into herself even further, preferring the virtual beach and jungles to real life. As a viewer, Giovana’s nostalgia for the past, for the world before the Pink Cloud is heartbreaking in its relatability. Meanwhile, we learn that Yago isn’t as well adjusted as we may have thought and a particular scene involving cyber sex, screens, and the dark is both unsettling and pitiful.
As a filmmaker, Gerbase shows great skill in conveying the uncomfortable. There is a stillness to the frame that feels claustrophobic as the film progresses, edging closer and closer into the audience. The film is at its greatest when it is exploring this concept, in the way silence can feel cramped and narrow.
Bleak and familiar, The Pink Cloud is a solid debut that explores the layers of loneliness that almost feels tailor made to the social distancing era.