What does it mean to be nobody but yourself? Does your appearance and how you look, to others, play a role in the framing of your own self? The roots that anchor your physical appearance are shallow but they still exist. And in the face of society, friends, relatives, and family members do things change?
Malgorzata Szumowska’s Mug epitomizes this thought vividly and abundantly. The movie talks about how we are affected by the ones we love in ways we can’t comprehend. The value of our presence in another’s life is a testament to how powerless we are when put to the test. Whether it’s love, affection, responsibility, respect, or belonging. We’re all a part of this game in which when one of the things that define us is stripped away, it’s as if nothing is left.
The details that honor life are rich, profound, and intimate. And the truthfulness with which we communicate with others stems from our personal experience of them. How we look at ourselves, what keeps us from empathizing with others, and how we make sense of what feeds our soul, desires, and fears is what keeps us real.
The highlight of the film, from my personal viewing of it, is transformative. It’s when the protagonist looks at himself in the mirror, soliloquizing the words, “It’s me, it’s me.” It’s true that moments – both good and bad – are ephemeral. But what stays behind is the essence and innate willingness of you to still live and love, just the same. It’s this reflection that one must cherish in the film. To watch it is to understand the many manifestations of love, perception, and self-acceptance.
Watch this feature film on Mubi.