By Diego Brodersen
In Constanza Novick’s debut feature, Dolores Fonzi (also present at TIFF in The Summit) and Pilar Gamboa (The Fire, La flor) play best friends whose lives intertwine through the years. Novick is quite experienced in writing professionally (and quickly) for daily TV shows, but fortunately almost no clichés are found in her script for The Future Ahead. Constructed as a triptych, in its first third the film finds Romina and Florencia going through their pre-adolescent years, sometime during the late ’80s or early ’90s. Although they seem to be almost inseparable, their differences (their relationships with their parents, their interest in boys) come across as stronger than their similarities.
Cut to their late twenties: Romina is living in a small apartment with her boyfriend and her little baby when Florencia, whom she hasn’t seen in many years, comes back to Argentina from Mexico. She’s brokenhearted after a failed relationship, and plans to crash at her friend’s house for a few days. The differences between the two become more evident, and threaten to cause a crisis: Florencia is quite volatile and has a tendency to be indifferent to other people’s states of mind; Romina is suffering something quite like postpartum depression. The words are certainly important here, but Novick’s intelligent dialogue doesn’t explain everything: the looks and gestures and semi-smiles also say a lot.
After another ellipsis, Flor and Romi reappear in the present, both of them mothers of girls who are almost the same age as the two of them were at the beginning of the film. Time for reconciliation and/or closure? Nothing is usually like that when it comes to genuine friendship, The Future Ahead seems to say. This is a delicate film that never falls into the trap of pretentiousness and usually seems quite honest and true to life.