W pogoni za wolnością

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Wyobraźmy sobie życie w klatce, której nie widzi nikt oprócz nas. Jest ciasna i niewygodna, ale nie od razu zdajemy sobie sprawę z jej obecności. Próbujemy dalej funkcjonować, lecz to niewidzialne więzienie coraz bardziej nas ogranicza. Komu o nim powiemy? Czy w ogóle to zrobimy? Jak długo będziemy w stanie udawać? 
Historia żyjącej na przełomie XIX i XX wieku Lili Elbe to historia trudna i smutna. Urodzona jako mężczyzna w czasach, gdy nie znano transseksualizmu ani nie wykonywano operacji korekty płci, była jedną z pierwszych osób na której w 1930 roku dokonano podobnego zabiegu. Do tego czasu funkcjonowała jako znany malarz – Einar Wegener – jednak wiadomo, że już wiele lat wcześniej zaczęła uczestniczyć w przyjęciach pod postacią Lili. Przedstawiano ją wtedy jako siostrę samego Einara i nigdy nie została rozpoznana. O jej prawdziwej tożsamości wiedzieli tylko najbliżsi przyjaciele i żona – Gerda Gottlieb – której Lili wielokrotnie pozowała w kobiecym przebraniu. Dzięki stworzonym portretom Gerda zyskała uznanie krytyków i popularność. Lili natomiast porzuciła malarstwo wraz z odkryciem swej tożsamości, gdyż – jak uważała – było to zajęcie Einara.
 
Dziewczyna z portretu w reżyserii Toma Hoopera jest ekranizacją powieści Davida Ebershoffa o tym samym tytule; nie przedstawia ona jednak dokładnych losów Lili Elbe, ale ich fabularyzowaną wersję. Tom Hooper stworzył film o nieustannym dążeniu do wolności, desperackich próbach jej uzyskania, a także o trudnościach związanych ze zrozumieniem i opanowaniem własnej tożsamości. Ukazał cierpienie człowieka uwięzionego we własnym ciele, który nader wszystko pragnie je opuścić. Jest ono dla niego jedynie ograniczeniem, bo gdy musi przemawiać jako Einar, wewnątrz rozlega się krzyk uwięzionej Lili. I z czasem Lili jest coraz silniejsza, Einar coraz słabszy, a okoliczności coraz trudniejsze. Twórcy nie narzucają nam jednak nagłej przemiany bohatera, nie bombardują kolejnymi zwrotami akcji. Jesteśmy świadkami powolnej przemiany bohatera, zapoczątkowanej jednym niewinnym wydarzeniem; beztroskiej zabawy, która powoli przestaje nią być. Wraz z upływem filmu, wszystko ma coraz większe znaczenie, ale nic nie zostaje wyolbrzymione.
 
Koncert gry aktorskiej zapewniają nam odgrywający rolę Einara Wegenera/Lili Elbe Eddie Redmayne i Alicia Vikander jako filmowa żona głównego bohatera – Gerda Gottlieb. Zdobywca Oscara dla najlepszego aktora pierwszoplanowego za rolę Stephena Hawkinga w Teorii wszystkiego w subtelny sposób kreuje swą postać, nadając jej przemianie wyjątkowego znaczenia. Wymowny jako mężczyzna, zachwyca również w roli kobiety. Zdaje się dbać o każdy szczegół; swą grą dokładnie ukazuje proces kształtowania się Lili – od panicznego lęku i niepewności, przez powolne odkrywanie siebie, aż po ujmującą swobodę przy wykonywaniu kolejnych kobiecych ruchów czy gestów. Bo gesty są tu bardzo ważne. Drżenie dłoni, badanie palcami własnego ciała, spuszczanie głowy, niepewne kroki w butach na obcasie. W dwugodzinnym filmie Eddie Redmayne szczegółowo ukazuje wieloletni proces, trudną wewnętrzną przemianę, nieustającą bitwę pomiędzy Einarem a Lili. A robi to na tyle płynnie, że nie zauważamy, w którym momencie miejsce słynnego malarza, Einara Wegenera, całkowicie zajmuje dążąca do wolności Lili. Nie możemy jednak zapomnieć o doskonałej roli Alicii Vikander, która pod postacią Gerdy ukazała wyjątkową siłę kochającej, nie patrzącej na okoliczności kobiety zaangażowanej w nieustanną pomoc mężowi. Vikander przedstawiła bohaterkę w sposób wyważony, pozbawiony nadmiernej dramatyzacji i wzniosłości. Sprawia, że widz potrafi odczuć wszystkie emocje tej kobiety, nie widząc na jej twarzy wielu łez ani grymasów cierpienia. Uwagę przykuwa także Matthias Schoenaerts jako przyjaciel Einara z dzieciństwa – Hans Axgil. Choć na ekranie nie pojawia się często, jest częścią rozgrywających się tam wydarzeń. Minimalistyczny w gestach, gra głównie oczami, w których widać każdą emocję jego bohatera. Stanowi idealne dopełnienie rozchwianego Einara i mocno stąpającej po ziemi Gerdy. I tu warto dodać, że wszyscy aktorzy świetnie ze sobą kooperują. Wzajemne interakcje są płynne i naturalne; chociażby pełne uroku i smaku sceny erotyczne. 
 
Dziewczyna z portretu to nie tylko wyjątkowa historia i świetna gra aktorska, ale także wspaniałe kostiumy i charakteryzacje. Dzięki nim bardzo szczegółowo możemy dojrzeć fizyczną ewolucję Lili objawiającą się m.in. doborem coraz bardziej kobiecych strojów i dodatków. Pełna detali charakteryzacja sprawia, że widząc bohaterkę jako drobną kobietę, zapominamy o jej wciąż męskim ciele. To właśnie te detale, moc kolorów, a także piękna scenografia; kolorowe kamienice, uliczne targi, rozbudowany port czy pełne szczegółów wnętrza domów, pałaców i szpitali przenoszą nas w duńskie realia z początków XX wieku. Natomiast samych emocji dostarczają również subtelne utwory Alexandre Desplata, kompozytora znanego z muzyki stworzonej do takich filmów jak Gra tajemnic, Jak zostać królem czy Grand Budapest Hotel
 
Tym, co urzeka w Dziewczynie z portretu, jest symbolika. Wielość wykonywanych przez Lili gestów symbolizujących kolejne etapy przemiany, scena w garderobie przed lustrem, a także scena końcowa. Twórcy posługują się symbolami jako jedną z głównych form przekazu. Mamy tu przyswajanie damskich gestów od tancerki erotycznej, która stanowi uosobienie kobiecych ruchów. Mamy też skrytą pod męskim ubraniem halkę zapowiadającą nadchodzące zmiany. I wreszcie mamy porwany przez wiatr szal Lili, który przywodzi na myśl wolność. 
 
Twórcy pokazują nam piękny, pełen emocji film nie tylko o dążeniu do wolności, nie tylko o desperackich próbach ukształtowania stłamszonej przez życie tożsamości, ale także o wyjątkowej miłości, która nie gaśnie nawet w obliczu trudności. Bo mamy tu wszystko: dobre małżeństwo, wspólną pasję i piękny seks. Patrzymy na bohaterów, urzeczeni ich uczuciem, a potem widzimy jak zostaje wystawione na próbę. Widzimy walczącą ze sobą Lili, której coraz trudniej przywołać Einara, zdjąć sukienkę i zmyć makijaż. Widzimy też bezsilną Gerdę, która coraz rzadziej panuje nad emocjami, ale pozostaje zdecydowana w swym zamiarze, aby pomóc mężowi. I widzimy ich miłość, mimo wielu przeszkód wciąż niegasnącą. Miłość niezależną od płci. Bo tylko dla żony Lili jest w stanie zdjąć perukę. I tylko dla Einara Gerda może poświęcić ich małżeństwo i pomóc mu w przemianie. Możemy sobie jedynie zadać pytanie: czy bez tej wielkiej miłości Lili miałaby siłę, aby stawić czoła Einarowi i przebyć długą drogę ku upragnionej wolności?

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