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She Loved Blossoms More Review: Eerie Visual Delight

A woman's face is split in two and there's an eye surrounded by golden leaves inside it in the film She Loved Blossoms More

She Loved Blossoms More is loaded with bizarre visuals that challenge conventional storytelling, making for a hellishly fascinating film.

Director: Yannis Veslemes
Genre: Sci-Fi, Comedy
Run Time: 86′
Tribeca Premiere: June 9, 2024
Release Date: TBA

With She Loved Blossoms More, director Yannis Veslemes taps into the concept of getting older and our memory becoming fuzzy. You might romanticize a time you were happy with your loved ones, even if those moments weren’t perfect. Whether consciously or not, we actively ignore bad memories in favor of the ones that made us believe in the good in the world.

The best example of this can come in the form of how we remember our parents. Although this isn’t the case for everyone, some focus on their parent’s efforts to provide and guide their children through life, regardless of succeeding. She Loved Blossoms More explores the madness that follows once our parental figures are gone, leaving us to make sense of things on our own.

She Loved Blossoms More follows three brothers who build an unusual time machine in an attempt to bring their long-dead mother back to life. When their delusional father comes into the picture, the experiments go awry, and they descend into a psychedelic hellscape where the past and present fuse into a disturbing reality where they’re forced to face their grief.

The biggest impression one takes from Veslemes’ experimental sci-fi comedy is the film’s art department. Elena Vardava’s expressive production design does more to tell us about our main characters than any piece of dialogue ever could. Their home is in a constant state of disorder, just as they are emotionally. Giannis Ageladopoulos and his VFX team provide a lot of personality through the inventive creature designs seen in this hellish world Veslemes has created. Two standouts are the split head with a third eye and the devil-like character that appears in the third act as a way to visualize how the brothers recall their father.

As for the cast of She Loved Blossoms More, Panos Papadopoulos and Sandra Abuelghanam Sarafanova are the highlights since they get the meatiermore meaty parts to play in the movie. Papadopoulos portrays a relatable sense of loss that’s felt through his expressionless features. In contrast, the energy Sarafanova injects into the film is quite palpable. Her presence is intoxicating yet comforting, almost like the memories of the three siblings’ mother. Sarafanov’s role, although subtle, serves as a way to contextualize the themes of grief and longing Veslemes tries to convey, or at least that is one way you can read it. The film leaves a lot open to interpretation.

She Loved Blossoms More Teaser (Yellow Veil Pictures)

For all the visual delights, She Loved Blossoms More tends to feel unfocused. Characters never go through any real significant change. It could be intentional, given its subject matter, but rather than adding an extra layer of depth, the film struggles to be engaging. Towards the third act, Papadopoulos’ character faces the possible reality that his mother loved spending time with her blossoms more than her children, hence the title. Yet, the movie doesn’t seem interested in diving into those ideas. The film gives you the pieces of the puzzle and leaves it up to you to put them together. The problem comes when you lose interest and are waiting around for the movie to wrap up.

She Loved Blossoms More is at its finest when it delivers bizarre creatures to be distracted by. It’s a well-acted film with an impressive visual style. Cinematographer Christos Karamanis gives She Loved Blossoms More a vintage-like look that helps separate it from any other movies in 2024. Yorgos Mavropsaridis’ (Poor Things) editing also shines in the way he reveals information and the state of mind of the characters. I just wish its grasp on its themes were as strong as the film thinks they are.

She Loved Blossoms More premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 9, 2024. Read our list of 15 films to watch at the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival!

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