4 min read

Expert Analysis of Film – For I am Dead

Anubhav Chakraborty

October 22, 2022 4 min read

Movie – For I am Dead 

Director – Patricia Delso Lucas 

Written and directed by Madrid born Brussels based Particia Delso Lucas For I am  Dead is a beautiful film to watch. 

The movie is a sensible representation of what a person who does not fit into the  societal construct feels. The movie is set in late nineteenth century Europe and has  successfully created an impact on the viewers minds. The setting, the props all remind  the viewers of the regency era and show us how a story can be taken to a different  height if told with elegance. 

The movie revolves around a wealthy middle-aged man named Oscar. His life is full of  material abundance and indulgence but his existence is just a facade. His identity is not  complete, he conceals his sexuality and suffers in silence. The movie begins with  Oscar’s narration of what he has been so far. Oscar’s huge house hints at this wealth  and flourishing condition. It is also important to note how empty the entire house looks.  The emptiness of the house echoes Oscar’s loneliness and miserable life. The house  thus becomes an extended metaphor for his empty life and lonely mind. The women in his house are overlooked in each frame as they do not really serve a  purpose in Oscar’s life. They are just merely tools for his facade as a charming young  man who is attractive to women. The women in this narrative are silenced and have a  passive contribution in the storyline. The women are symbols of his lavish life that he  has crafted with lies for the outer world to see, and ironically, he slowly gets tangled into  this web of fasity. 

The backdrop of the movie is also extremely crucial since Europe was not a paradise for  homosexual people back then. Patricia craftily creates a situation where Oscar is  trapped into the web of the societal expectation. 

The character suffers miserably and still maintains the heteronormative behaviour to not  rouse any doubt. He adheres to the behaviour expected of him and spends his life  lavishly. Apparently his life looks full of satisfaction, whereas the reality is far away from  it. 

The setting and cinematography also highlights the struggles that Oscar faces on a  daily basis. The panning of the camera, the loud noise of eating all create an  uncomfortable situation that disgusts the viewers and makes them feel uneasy. It is as if  the viewer is made to feel disgusted and out of the place intentionally. This situation  echoes the condition of Oscar who also does not feel like belonging to his own place. It  is ironic how despite having every comfort and materialistic privileges, he repeatedly  fails to enjoy life as he should. His inability to express himself shows how suffocating 

society had been for people who came before us. Failing to live with his true identity, he  seeks refuge in wine, courtesans and opium. 

Oscar’s life begins to take a turn once Jude enters his life. It is a subtle touch of the  writer as Jude stands for Oscar’s love, he also pines for Jude’s praise and appreciation.  Jude is of Hebrew origin and it means praised. Jude’s presence in the narrative shows  how Oscar also craves to be who he truly is and how he silently looks for a streak of  support for putting up with his reality for so long. 

The power struggle and romantic struggle between Oscar, the master and Jude, the  gardener is also a commendable aspect in Patricia’s film. Their story makes the viewers  think of the multiple “what ifs” that could have happened in real life. The actors Al  Nazemian and Riggsby Lane play OScar and Jude with great care. 

The plentiful resources of Oscar’s life is not enough for him, and it is commendable how  Patricia organised all the nuances in just an 18 minutes time frame. The movie is well  made and deserves worldwide attention. For I am Dead provides a peek into the past  and a homage to all those who have silently suffered and left us untimely. It is indeed a  great film.

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