Love and loneliness at the heart of the film “Chroma”, by Jean-Laurent Chautems

The second feature film by the talented Swiss director Jean-Laurent Chautems, “Chroma” highlights an extraordinary love story between two lonely and suffering souls, who transport us to their universe as confusing as it is unpredictable.

Claire (Solène Rigot) is an outgoing and hypersensitive young woman who hides a deep melancholy. Returning to her hometown to see her father in bad shape and try to solve problems from the past, she moves into a new apartment and cheats on her loneliness by observing her neighbors. His attention is captured by Alain (Aurélien Caeyman), a young man with strange phobias who strives to avoid any affective relationship. A singular love story between these two lonely and bruised souls will be born, but will it be enough to save them from themselves?

>> To see, the trailer of “Chroma”:

live intensely

In the film, the two main characters grapple with their suffering in very different ways. “Claire experiences everything very intensely, she goes from joy to tears and violence in a few seconds”, describes director Jean-Laurent Chautems (“No longer there for anyone”, the series “10”).

As for Alain, “it’s a bit the opposite. He has built a square life for himself, because he is afraid of becoming attached, of losing and of dying. He is in a non-life, without emotional relationships. He has a very routine side as well as ocds and phobias”. Quite rare phobias, which encroach on his daily life and prevent him from living fully.

Love, loneliness and trauma

However, “Chroma” is not a documentary on neuroses. Love, loneliness, past traumas form the main themes of the film. If Claire’s past sufferings are obvious, those of Alain seem lighter. And yet. “It’s not the magnitude of the trauma that counts. I don’t make a hierarchy of suffering, explains Jean-Laurent Chautems. I want to see the consequences on individuals when we don’t overcome certain things”.

Other characters gravitate around the main characters: Patrick Chesnais notably interprets a neighbor professor of semiology who gives lessons on “Fragments of a love speech” by Roland Barthes. Her classes, which Claire attends as a free listener, obviously resonate with what the young woman is going through.

Shot in Geneva before the pandemic, this Swiss-Belgian production gives pride of place to dreams and imagination. The music is by Malcolm Braff and the songs Emilie Zoé.

Interview by Anne Laure Gannac

Adaptation web: mh

“Chroma”, currently on screens in French-speaking Switzerland

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