Amid its usual pomp and pageantry of the Red Carpet, on a wonderful evening with a pleasant nip in the air, 72nd edition of Cannes Film Festival kicked off with a poignant tribute to late Agnes Varda. There were clippings, live singing of “Sans Toi” by the Belgian singer Angele, composed by Michel Legrand and copious adulations. It was a moving moment for the film lovers from all over the world. The opening function was shared by nearly 600 venues in France to enable “the general public to participate in the greatest film event in the world ….all the excitement of its Opening Ceremony.” In the august company of Javier Bardem and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jury President Alejandro Inarritu declared open the Festival.
Jim Jarmusch”s Zombi take over film THE DEAD DON’T DIE, selected in Competition opened the Festival. Was Jim Jarmusch, the master filmmaker trying to dish out a political allegory? Or was it a Zombi comedy with an alien insertion by way of Zelda? The film opens with an investigation by the local police of theft of chicken by a man living isolated in the woods. They notice strange things happening – police wireless failing, mobiles switching off and then the gruesome killings of the coffee shop staff. The younger policeman, performed by Adam Driver quickly comes to the conclusion that the Zombies are the killers and the only way to eliminate them is to cut off their head. The cemeteries open to gorge out all the dead and buried, to wander the world again and spread havoc. No one will be spared excepting Zelda who stylishly gets away in an alien flying saucer. Three youngsters manage to run away from their confinement avoiding being eaten by the Zombies.
The film’s setting is a small town with its police station, coffee shop, and gas station cum toy/video/music shop, a hardware shop and cemetery. We see more zombies in the film than the population of the town. Is that already a town of the dead?
The film, through its subtle dialogues refers to the greed and jealousy of the people – Hermit Bob is the only exception. He is happy to be alone, content with what the woods provide, does not intend harm to any living being but gravely concerned of the way of the world. He fears that this way of life of the people will certainly lead to the destruction of the humankind.
In this fight Zombies win. Does the film send a message that the dark forces are taking over the world and it is difficult to get rid of them? “Things are not going to end well…I have read the full script.” Astrological, isn’t it?