By Brandon Labecki, Current Staff
Sometimes the most interesting films to examine are the ones that are closest to reality.
“The Ground Beneath My Feet,” an Austrian film screening as part of the Milwaukee Film Festival, concerns the stressful and hard-working life of a business consultant named Lora. In particular, the film studies the hardships of her work environment and her relationship with her sister, which helps the film focus on characterization and the characters’ core personalities.
The film explores some aspects of mental illness by dealing with Lola’s sister and also some stressful situations in the workplace. It is a well-thought out way of observing both areas while being realistic and allowing the audience to seriously relate to the subject matter.
The aspects dealing with mental illness in the film are not extremely dramatic either and do not appear as a trope in any sense. When shown on screen or revealed through dialogue, the aspects about mental illness are depicted in a sensible, realistic way that seemingly could be pulled from a real-life situation.
The aspects of the workplace were not overdone, either, even when describing dramatic or stressful parts of being in that job. The film pulls in the audience by creating an environment that feels grounded in reality. The cinematography is appealing and well-applied and the dialogue feels true to normal conversations.
Even though the film is worthy of praise, some of the aspects that make it enjoyable can also create negative effects. Because the film focuses heavily on characterization, it seems to be directed toward a specific demographic of individuals that are able to view a film without any action or physically-attentive parts to keep them invested.
Other than a lack of action, some other pieces of the film affected it negatively. For example, the film seems to end in a somewhat odd way that may not offer complete closure. Certain questions are raised for the audience during the film that don’t appear to be completely answered, which can leave individuals wondering about some aspects.
Overall, though, “The Ground Beneath My Feet” provides an interesting and grounded immersion in another individual’s life while providing some conversation on mental illness and parts of the everyday workplace.
“The Ground Beneath My Feet” screens again 4 p.m. Saturday at the Jan Serr Studio Cinema. More information is online at mkefilm.org.
(Images courtesy of Milwaukee Film.)