Content Note: (assisted) suicide
Emilie (Eva Green) and Ines (Alicia Vikander) are sisters who haven’t seen each other in a long time. Emilie has organized a holiday for the both of them, promising that they’ll visit the most beautiful place on earth. Ines is suspicious, but the two start their journey. Slowly both Emilie’s plans and the frail relationship between the two sisters come to light.
Euphoria is a touching film with great actresses that is a success when it comes to portraying the relationship of the two sisters and less successful regarding the big topic it tackles: assisted suicide.
Langseth is very careful in approaching assisted suicide and does so with sensitivity, but nevertheless she still stumbles here and there. Particularly with the character of Brian (Mark Stanley) – a former professional athelete who lost his legs and now wants to die. First of all, Mark Stanley is not disabled himself, which is bad casting. But more on topic: we don’t need to see yet another story about a disabled person wishing to die because they are disabled. The film then does a u-turn: Brian spends the night with Emilie, she tells him, he doesn’t have it so bad and he gives up his plan. Which is also not particularly good as it makes it look like that people seeking assisted suicide don’t think hard about their decisions and can be easily swayed. But at least the disabled person gets to live (and Brian is a really cute character otherwise).
Most of the time, I liked her approach, though. Emilie is unapologetic about her decision: it’s her decision and hers alone. Springing it on Ines may not be the greatest thing she could do, but no matter the way she would have told her, Ines doesn’t get a say in things. It’s not up to her at all.
Thus the film is more occupied with the two sisters and their efforts to find closer together despite a long and sordid history of fighting and hurting each other – and a time limit that makes it impossible for them to wait for wounds ot heal on their own. That relationship is the heart of the film and was beautifully fleshed out. Vikander and Green (and Rampling) are great in their respective roles. (Charles Dance, unfortunately, seemed to have phoned in his performance more which was a little disappointing).
Euphoria isn’t always on point, but it does manage to shed light on a complicated relationship between two women in a way that brought both of them closer to me. I liked it.