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forgot me | Remembering the classic of Christmas classics

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The distorted dream of many children is that their family will disappear, at least for a few days. Not that they’re loaded with evil, but like anyone else, coping with the pressures of being younger in a mostly adult environment is complicated, mostly due to the lack of understanding and the fact that you can being left out or treated as inferior. . Obviously, when I put it in these words, I seem to be more melodramatic than usual – but it is precisely this premise that engages the main story of “Home Alone”.

Chris Columbus’ second foray as director is one of the most classic films of the Christmas season, starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy who finds himself completely out of place in an environment dysfunctional and overcrowded family. From the moment we introduce ourselves to this group of characters, we realize that if there is something in common between all of them, it is the total lack of psychological balance, which, by analyzing it with a softer look, becomes comical and does not fail to work, like a mirror of countless families around the world. In the first sequence, the director constructs an incredible long shot based on the polemic, showing each of the members huddled together in a memorable scenic fluidity and which dialogues with the size of the main mansion while transforming it into a claustrophobic and stuffy place. . .

Now, it is not surprising that in a household of more than ten people there are certain disagreements. But from the point of view of the protagonist, who like it or not is the main victim, it all falls on him. During an argument in the middle of a dinner and a few hours before the departure of the family on a Christmas trip to Paris, he ends up arguing with his older brother: at this moment, Columbus chooses to take the objectivity of ‘a horizontal camera, taking it from a low angle that relies on Kevin’s subjectivity, putting him in a position of total disapproval of others: everyone is looking at him as if it was entirely his fault. And it’s from there that the boy has a personal epiphany and realizes he doesn’t belong there.

Many people, watching the scene involving Kevin and Kate (Catherine O’Hara), his mother, felt that they were in a very common and familiar environment: in a rebellious disorder, the protagonist says he would prefer to live alone and that he wished never to see them again, repeating over and over that I would not miss it. Meanwhile, Kate’s hands are completely tied in a moment of shock and amazement, saying she hoped it wasn’t true. Sure, we understand the little boy’s point of view, but we also can’t help but imagine ourselves in the shoes of the mother, who heard it coming from her own son. And while in previous sequences the framing valued Kevin’s inferiority to his family, this is the first moment the game turns and an adult is in an “inferior position” to a child.

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It’s not surprising to imagine what happens: given the title of the film, it’s pretty obvious to think that, in a rush to get everyone ready and rush to the airport, someone could be forgotten. And considering that the boy was pinned to the ground in an attic room, he was literally left behind after a series of very innocuous events, but which in this narrative genre work in a simple and unique way. It’s not until the family almost arrives at their destination that Kate, in a very funny and even tense construction, sort of remembers that her son has been left behind. “What kind of mother am I? she wonders, looking catatonic at a standstill as she thinks about what she’s going to do.

Meanwhile, back at the McAllisters, Columbus crafts a completely soundless moment precisely to convey the idea of ​​loneliness and growing revelation. While in the first act the gigantic house was too small for so many people, here Kevin finds himself in a vast world once hidden by the presence of his family: the long shots value the smallness of the protagonist in the face of a terrible grandiloquence. It is clear that a priori he does not believe what is happening, but soon after he breaks the fourth wall to take advantage of the supposedly brief moments he has alone, turning something oppressive into his glorious childhood victory.

But what would the story be without the long-awaited obstacles? John Hughes, known for his incredible teenage forays into rom-coms such as “The Breakfast Club,” “Girls and Husbands,” and “Curtindo A Vida Adoidado,” takes all of his storytelling experience and manages to transfer it without great loss, but with the necessary change for the protagonist himself, in a hero journey that is not exactly mythical, but with considerable doses of adventure and maturation. Kevin’s coming of age comes after he meets robbery duo Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Sterns), who are responsible for many thefts. From then on, the boy finds himself in charge of looking after the house of real danger and which, in the eyes of a child, is only a game.

However, contrary to what one might think, our hero is extremely sagacious. After meeting his guardian archetype—who, almost unexpectedly and globally, emerges not in the figure of his parents, but in that of his brooding neighbor Marley (Roberts Blossom)—he realizes that it’s up to him. him to create the most incredible traps to prevent this growing threat from happening, at least until something manages to save him. Contrary to what you might expect, he doesn’t stay defensive, but attacks with all the strength and creativity that a child’s mind can provide, making him mature enough to be responsible and protect himself. at the same time. It’s strange and almost melancholic to think that Kevin had to be “abandoned” to find himself in a more adult character, but this deeper scope is eclipsed even by the whimsical soundtrack composed by John Williams, in which the Christmas components are blend into an adventurous and engaging musical identity.

“Home Alone” is not a memorable movie for some reason. Besides all its extremely emotional construction, the idea of ​​placing the story before an end-of-year litter is one of the main ones that turn it into a classic for the family – and whose depth is greater than you might think. ‘conceived.

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