“The Devil’s Magnificent”


Amos Lassen

Manu (Manuela Guevara) is a 33-year-old trans immigrant living in Paris who decides to return to Chile after 10 years in France. In the last few days she goes over different paths of love and freedom and is moved by her memories in Paris. She is also exhausted by the difficulties of her life there. , Manu, a thirty-three year old trans immigrant, resigns to return to his native Chile after 10 years in France. In the days before she leaves, her platonic friend Daniel proposes marriage so that she can solve her visa issues. Manu strongly considers the offer, but she’s wholly disheartened at the prospect of a life without love, romance, and sex. Then she meets a fellow foreigner who gives her hope for a romantic future.

The film takes us into the world the non-binary. Director Nicolás Videla introduces us to Manu a writer and the screenwriter of this film allowing us to see the intimate thoughts that shape her world in the streets of Paris. It is in Paris where we will enter into the different reflections on love, sex and the reality of living as a non-binary being in the city that is called capital of love.

The wonderful cinematography highlights the city’s beautiful landscapes and locations as well as creates spaces of intimacy, reflection and dynamism through an astute use of the same, as we follow Manu’s comings and goings. The voice of Manuela Guevara transports us through a non-linear story, which resembles the entries of a diary. She shares unordered thoughts, ramblings, reflections and interviews. We soon have a human connection with what we see— the authentic story of a human being, and its vicissitudes touch us deeply.

These are beautifully choreographed dance sequences to the rhythm of different songs that compose the soundtrack by Santiago Jara and Martin Bruce. These moments break the most interesting climaxes of the film— precious moments of emotionality that are not fully explained (I am quite sure that this was the director’s intention).

“The Devil Is Magnificent” is a film full of contrasts and a journey in search of that which was once taken and silenced and that now have found a voice. Everything does not come together but we can overlook that, as this is the way life is.

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