Clouds of Maloja Snake

The film Clouds of Sils Maria is a very interesting film with an interesting turn of events. I admire their play on the role reversals of the character Maria who in her youth, played Sigrid who in the play manipulated an older and more vulnerable woman Helena. Now, years later in a remake of the play, Maria is asked to play the character Helena. Now this is an interesting plot all on it’s own but it is even more beautifully portrayed in the film because it is also reflected in the real life of Maria as she takes on an assistant by the name of Valentine who also in a way is the Sigrid to Maria’s Helena in the analogy. However, Maria sees herself still as the same persona type as Sigrid and really despises Helena’s character persona.

The new director of the remade play, Klaus Diesterweg sees an ageing and problematic Maria who seems vulnerable and perfect for the role of Helena. In the original play, the woman who played Helena, Susan mysteriously died in a car crash after the play’s success. Now many years later, Maria holds a superstitious belief that the reason Susan died was because she played the character Helena. You can see the relationship between Valentine and Maria grow as they are somewhat fond with each other but in the end of the day, Val is still employed by Maria and generally, her ideas aren’t as respected by Maria.

The ending of the film really spoke to me as it alluded to the end of the play Maloja Snake. In the play, Sigrid convinces Helena to commit suicide by going to the mountain. Now what gets really interesting is that the director Wilhelm is also said to have committed in the same mountain. Now with all that in mind, it seems as if Val left Maria in the mountain to do the same? This part was unclear. But as an ending to the film, it did a great job for leaving room for open interpretation.

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