“WHO YOU THINK I AM” - REALITY, WHICH REALITY?
Our identities, realities behind masks, an artificial mask, a mask of dreams.
By Nevin Ulusoy
We all try to find out who we are, starting at a certain age, discover our inner truth and the right way for us. Learning about the outer world also means learning about ourselves and as we search for the real us, it is a search for our ideal world. The circumstances of life, new discoveries, technology all have a role in our search and our identities. Sometimes the truth can be split into pieces, the mirror may show different faces and we may have different masks for different times,different roles.
Cinema is a great friend in our journey of ourselves. “Who You Think I Am” (Celle que Vous Croyez) depicts the problem of being really ourselves, the reality of lives, being a whole person combining all the different roles the society gives us in this world of technology, social media that surrounds us, maybe imprisons us, the cell we cannot escape. We watch fascinating actress Juliette Binoche in the leading role, as brilliant as ever, being the person she acts, she becomes the person actually, as she always does in all her wonderful films. The film was directed by Safy Nebbov in 2019. It premiered at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival. It was adapted from Camille Laurens’ novel. François Civil and Nicole Garcia act in the film and the wonderful music that stays with us after the film as well is by Ibrahim Maalouf.
Is love fresh cheeks, hair that is not grey, fertile energetic bodies? Who imprisons love to rules? If the mirrors are good to us, if our hearts pump youth, yes, why shouldn’t we fall in love?
Claire, a middle-aged French literature professor, with two boys, divorced, rather left by her husband. She has a much younger lover, Ludovic, but their relationship is not emotional much and he does not talk to her on the phone one day, his roommate, Alex answers the phone. She decides to see what he does on the internet and decides to adapt a fake persona. She becomes friends with Alex, sends him messages and things take a different turn. Clara Antures is her fake persona, a girl in her twenties, she sends him photos and videos of a girl to him. He becomes the centre of her life, she really is “in her twenties’ ‘, she starts to lose time and place consciousness, she lives by their messages and phone calls. Alex desires to see her, she is a haunting idea for him and as she cannot tell him the truth, she breaks up, and it leads to disastrous events. She has to take psychotherapy sessions with Doctor Bormans. As the film goes on, we see she has other ideas in her mind, trying to take the revenge of her losses, the bitter strokes she has experienced and wanted to be an entirely different person, maybe an entirely different young self.
Is it not having met that gives them those mad feelings? Could she give herself and Alex a chance for love? Is love fresh cheeks, hair that is not grey, fertile energetic bodies? Who imprisons love to rules? Does not Cortazar say “as if you can choose love. You do not choose the rain soaks you to the bones at a concert exit.” Ella Fitzgerald sings, “Let’s fall in love, why shouldn’t we, we’re young.” If the mirrors are good to us, if our hearts pump youth, yes, why shouldn’t we fall in love? “Love don’t need to find a way, you’ll find your own way”, yes, “Love Comes Tumbling”, as U2 sings. There is no need for masks for love, friendship and all we need is the real looks behind the masks, coincidences, things life and the wind bring, but first of all trust in yourself.
In her novel “Identity”, fabolous writer Milan Kundera the question of having different selves at different occasions:
“Do not forget, I have two faces. I have learned to take pleasure from this character, but, it is not easy to have two faces… Yes, I might have two faces, but not at the same time. When I am with you, I have a sarcastic face. And the serious one at the office.”
We all have different roles at the same time and do we know which is the real us? We experience the days of masks and it makes us think of our invisible masks, the ones we cannot get rid of at some occasions, maybe never. The social media, an artificial world, we live in, whether we want it or not. It gives us the comfort of doing, saying whatever we want and not being detected. The artificial reality of being whoever you want to be. Our identities, realities behind masks, an artificial mask, a mask of dreams. This character dominates you after a short time and the mirror of your truth tells you who you really are. Those messages, voices do not vanish, but as they wander in space they go to the depths of the heart.