Light in tone and full of youthful exuberance and possibility, Nele Wolatz's The Future Perfect is a whimsical tale exuding optimism about the future, detailing the experiences of Xiaobin, a young Chinese girl who has just moved to Argentina to reunite with her family who own a laundromat in Buenos Aires. Struggling to adjust to new culture and language, Xiaobin enrolls in a class specifically designed for Chinese immigrants, yet her newfound independence in learning the language is offset by the restrictive chinese culture which her parents still hold onto, one which includes arranged marriage. Exploratory, whimsical, and creatively told, Nele Wohlatz's The Future Perfect is a film which should be celebrated not only for it's carefree optimism but also in how it plays with narrative structure, creatively placing the viewer into the head-space of our main protagonist, narratively encapsulating the sense of possibilities this young girl dreams about, being a film that very much exudes optimism. Xiaobin is a character confronted throughout the film, not only by her parents' traditional ways but also having to learn a new language, and the audience follows this character as she navigates these choppy waters, attempting to figure things out on her own. The sense of possibility the film creates is refreshing, charming, and authentic, with Xiaobin lamenting over all the possibilities which her future may hold. Stylishly minimalist overall, The Future Perfect does feature some quietly assured moments throughout, particularly how little time is spent at Xiaobin's families residence. Her parents and the interior of the home is barely shown at all, a conscience decision by the filmmakers which visually expresses Xiaobin's independence, signaling a character who must do things on her own in an effort to figure out what she truly wants out of life. Quietly compelling and minimalist in scope, Nele Wohlatz' The Future Perfect reminded me of Hong Sang-soo's work, being a charming a whimsical character study full of optimism, detailing a young woman in Xiaobin who is trying to forge her own path.
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