Months later, Mia’s life has not returned to normal. She feels alienated from her work and Vincent. And so begins her journey to remember the past in order to move forward. Determined, Mia tries to get answers about where she ended up during the shooting and what happened to the kind chef who held her hand and comforted her. On her journey, she meets and talks with other survivors of the attack, all struggling in their own way. A woman accuses Mia of barricading herself in the bathroom, refusing to let anyone else in, which Mia suspects despite being unable to prove. She meets another survivor, a teenager named Félicia (Nastya Golubeva), and they quickly form a bond. Mia has a very different dynamic with another survivor, a banker named Thomas (Benoît Magimel), who is recovering in the hospital. All of these connections bring Mia comfort and help ease her memory.
“Revoir Paris” has a sensibility to it, a warm texture despite the abundance of cool blue tones. His stark visual film style is reminiscent of Atom Egoyan’s early work with its quiet, narrative tone and vivid splashes of color. Like Egoyan’s Exotica and The Sweet After, every character in Revoir Paris is bound by grief and sadness. Characters often lean forward when speaking or looking at the camera, allowing us to witness the emotions on their faces. As the story moves from person to person, face to face, it all begins to feel like a dream. The image of Mia on her motorcycle only heightens the sense that we are moving, the days and nights blur together. Sometimes the film shifts the point of view to other survivors, recounting their feelings and memories. It’s a very human way of exploring trauma, reminding us that Mia is one of many injuries.
As Mia, Efira gives a restrained performance enhanced by her expressive face. Like her previous roles in Benedetta and Sybil, Efira quietly commands the screen. Golubeva is also outstanding as Félicia, a young woman whose maturity comes from actively overcoming trauma. Additionally, Sofia Lesaffre does so much with her small, pivotal role as Nour, a young woman who still works at the bistro after filming.
“Revoir Paris” is a story about people brought together, forever changed by their time together. In addition to its emotional resonance, the film highlights the cultural and economic diversity of Paris as we watch Mia interact with people she may never have met. Despite the tragedy, Revoir Paris is a hopeful film about the healing power of human connection and mutual comfort. It’s the kind of movie that lingers in the mind long after the title has been released.
Now in cinemas.