Theo Francocci was born on November 8th, 1988, in Roma, Italy. He started his career working for Radio Podcasts and Independent Music Productions. He moved to London in 2010 to study Sound Engineering. In 2011 has started working in the Film and TV industry. He is known for his work on Arctic Dogs (2019), Bent (2018),
One of the most difficult things a filmmaker has to do is convince their audience that what they watch is unique and has something distinct to it. After all, filmmaking is an art form that takes all our senses on a ride and Wholeheartedly does incredibly well at just that. The moment the film begins, Carmen, who later will be known as the central character of the film, takes a look in the mirror at an unrecognized version of herself. The very minute the film begins, the audience is almost overwhelmed by this foreshadow, but almost immediately we transition to an AA meeting where we get to hear Carmen for the very first time. It feels as if she's trying to wrap her mind around the disaster that has struck her life. While the notion of alcoholism has been seen in film before, Director Theo Francocci does an outstanding job of keeping Carmen distinct and doesn't shy at sheltering her from her world 's cruelness. Examples of this can be seen in her relationship with Robert, where despite his unfaithfulness she stands up for herself and demands that he stop abusing her and using immigration as a form of bullying. Another perfect example of the originality of the film can be seen when a police officer uncovers Carmen in her car. This is a rather raw sequence, as we are drawn through transitional editing into Carmen 's terror. Wholeheartedly shows great compositional techniques here, as Carmen is shown nearly about to restart her abusive relationship with alcohol at her breaking point. When she is discovered by a police officer, the film uses a low angle shot technique to show us that Carmen is at her most vulnerable, displaying the officer as the individual with all the control in that moment. This is a brilliant usage of the artistic influence in Wholeheartedly, and it also shows us that Carmen is completely powerless when surrounded by alcohol.
Theo Francocci does a masterful job for his directorial debut in wholeheartedly, a film that wholeheartedly speaks for itself. Mainly focusing on the sound department aspect of film, Wholeheartedly was written, directed, & produced by Francocci, with the addition of his own written music also being included in the film. A film’s director mustn't shy away from the grittiness and deprivation of a character in their film and Francocci’s valiant portrayal of Carmen’s life does so tenfold. Instead of sugar coat Carmen 's life, the film's writing remains raw in a manner comparable to the styles of the directors Darren Aronofsky & Kathryn Bigelow. One thing we very much enjoyed about Francocci’s work was the usage of questioning Carmen’s overall catharsis. Essentially, we’re not exactly sure if Carmen will recover. In fact, Carmen returns to Robert despite his verbal and emotional abuse toward her and eventually Carmen comes full circle once she sees what could be in the mirror: A better life for her, a better life for her daughter. It is not difficult to see that in Wholeheartedly Francocci pays close attention to cinematography, displaying an adept view of the rawness of real life.
Cinematography is critical to a film's narrative. It all starts with Carmen (before we really know her) looking at herself in the mirror, moreso flashing to a preceding version of herself. This first view we get of Carmen goes a long way in the sense that we can catch only a glimpse of a shocked, more scared Carmen. We immediately switch to a tracking shot where we go into a recovery meeting. We are better able to visualize Carmen 's story through a sequence of flashback shots, and it's clear that director Theo Francocci wants us to see both bad and good periods between her and Robert. Unfortunately their attachment comes with a heavy flaw as they're both recovering from an alcohol addiction. One small criticism we have is when Carmen reads the message of the text in her car. This can often be difficult in film to accurately interpret a text message, but maybe what we can say is to show it on screen in a different way so it is easier to read it. Apart from that, we really liked the way this movie was shot. As stated earlier, this film's style is raw and we think both Francocci and the cinematographer Guadalupe Hernandez Pineda have done a fine job here.
Carmen Andrea Mendez gives Wholeheartedly a first-rate performance and she is nothing short of excellent. The scene that really stuck to us was her appearance throughout the police questioning. It is here that she picks up the pieces even in her most vulnerable state. Throughout Wholeheartedly, Mendez shows us a strong character who is fighting addiction and a better life for her future child. We look forward to seeing more of her and to a future collaboration between her and director Theo Francocci.
Robert Kylar Miranda as Robert had been a very smart casting choice. He is the tough, handsome guy who has a problem with alcohol himself. We can see his true display of character better when he is caught cheating on Carmen. Robert teaches us that by the use of remorse and torture, love can be cruel. Despite being pregnant and struggling with her own difficulties, we 're disappointed when we see Robert making the choices he made in the film. Regardless, this frustration simply means actor Kylar Miranda has done a fantastic job here.
Damien Though only for a brief time in Wholeheartedly, we felt it was important to include Damien 's character here. He represents consideration, something in this world that can be very much overlooked. He takes this a step further by offering Carmen a ride home, when she had planned on taking the bus.
We were pleased to see that Wholeheartedly had proper sound mixing and some included soundtracks for the film's various sequences. One aspect that can commonly happen in movies is bad sound quality during an active scene (such as the fight scene between Carmen & Robert, for example) and as a result, it can take away from listening to dialog or other essential dietary sounds. Fortunately for Wholeheartedly, the raw action and close-up shots (e.g. Carmen speaking in the car with Damien) remain true to themselves and don't jump around or cause the viewer any infrequencies. We also thoroughly enjoyed certain sound mixing techniques including Carmen's frightened breath mixed alongside tenacious music as she talks to the police officer. Our only complaint here would be to have no music during the retelling of Carmen 's story. It seems as though there might have been ways without music to retell this story, maybe leaving the scene raw or somehow incorporating this in a more suitable manner. Regardless, for the most part the sound and music seemed nicely fitting and we definitely enjoyed some of the music of director Francocci.
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