Problemista Review – IGN

Exploring A24’s Problemista

A24’s Problemista is a film that defies easy categorization. Comedian Julio Torres takes on the roles of writer, director, and star in this quirky masterpiece that blends fantasy with the harsh realities of adulthood, particularly the immigration process. The result is a thought-provoking journey that challenges our expectations and offers a unique perspective on loneliness and human connection.

The Art of Deconstruction

Julio Torres showcases his talent for deconstruction in Problemista, using humor to highlight the subtle nuances of everyday life. Through the character of Alejandro, an aspiring toymaker, Torres creates whimsical products that reflect deeper truths. From a Slinky that encourages children to embrace the journey to Cabbage Patch Kids with cell phones, each creation is a testament to Torres’ comedic genius.

Ale’s Fantasyland

Alejandro, portrayed by Torres, stands at the heart of Problemista like a wandering fae in a fable. Raised in a loving environment by his artist mother, Ale’s journey through New York City is akin to a grown-up version of Little Red Riding Hood navigating the complexities of adulthood.

Exploring Themes of Loneliness

Loneliness looms large in Problemista, affecting every aspect of the characters’ lives. Ale’s struggle with immigration status and the demands of adulthood paint a poignant picture of survival in a harsh world. Torres masterfully weaves these themes into the fabric of the film, highlighting the small indignities that can become monumental obstacles.

A Tumultuous Relationship

Central to Problemista is the complex relationship between Alejandro and Elizabeth, played with frenetic energy by Tilda Swinton. Elizabeth, a wealthy white woman with power over Ale, serves as both adversary and mentor. Their dynamic reflects larger societal power imbalances, adding depth and complexity to the narrative.

A Poignant Journey

Alejandro’s journey in Problemista is one of self-discovery and empowerment. Through his interactions with Elizabeth and the challenges he faces, Ale learns to demand more from life and assert his worth. It’s a poignant tale of growth and resilience in the face of adversity.