Exchanging homes to enjoy a different vacation is a trend that has been on the rise for some time. And Mar Targarona has used a script written by Alfred Pérez Fargas and Roger Danès, with whom she already collaborated on The Mauthausen Photographerto create a real nightmare around this topic in The cuckoowhich hits theaters this Friday.
The Barcelona filmmaker confesses in an interview with The vanguard that “the projects don’t come, you always go looking for them and with Alfred and Roger we understand each other very well and we had to propose a new film. They do house exchanges and it’s an idea that I really like and from there we went on to the point of thriller“The writers have never had any bad experiences, but Targarona chose to nourish the story with something “ugly and horrible.”
And in the film Belén Cuesta and Jorge Suquet are Ana and Marc, a couple about to become parents who decide to disconnect from everything for a few days in the idyllic landscapes of the Black Forest. They have left their house in Barcelona to a nice German retired couple while they do the same in a large and spacious home with a swimming pool, classical welcome music and a Maserati in the parking lot.
Everything looks great until Marc begins to behave differently and a deranged woman sneaks into the house and warns Ana that she will be next. “The film is a tale by the Brothers Grimm. It is Hansel and Gretel lost in the forest, who find a wonderful house of nougat and chocolate, but the house has its mysteries.” Regarding the choice of that location, the director says that “she wanted to make a bright film and Germany has that aesthetic and iconography of the Black Forest with its beautiful towns.”
The film shows traditional festivals in which the inhabitants wear wooden masks that are passed down from generation to generation and in which they celebrate how witches come down from the forests. Rituals, songs and sinister laughter, bathtubs full of water with candles and a lot of cuckoo clocks make up some of the ingredients in which the protagonists will move in a story that draws absolutely from The seed of the devilby Roman Polanski. “I saw it first as a child, then pregnant and later hundreds of times. I think it is a magnificent film and we start from there a little and then it goes in other very different directions,” says the director.
Cuesta, who doesn’t usually watch horror films “because they make me panic,” speaks wonders about a script, “which scared me a lot because I didn’t know if I would be able to defend something like that but I immediately accepted,” and about the possibility of working with Suquet , “a close friend for a long time who was a support for this new adventure.” The winner of the Goya for best actress for The infinite trench He explains that he was very curious to see how a story of this type was filmed: “I really liked trying myself there.” And it seems that she has taken a liking to the genre, since we will soon see her alongside Alba Flores in the horror series Romance, by Prime. “One has nothing to do with the other but they are both very enriching,” explains the interpreter, who just on the day of the interview announced on her Instagram that she is expecting her first child.
Cuesta is “panicked” by horror movies but says that “I really liked trying myself there”
In The Cuckoo, the 39-year-old interpreter plays precisely an eight-month pregnant woman, so her character required a very physical component. “The prosthesis was very heavy, the filming was more technical and was not chronological and required me to be very aware of the moment at hand, something I was not very used to. But I have been very well directed by Mar, who has made everything more easy”.
The film touches on many themes, such as the loss of one’s own identity. “Marc lets himself be fooled and loses his personality. The watch, the car, the perfumes… he likes everything he sees. He is an easy prey, while Ana has a harder time because she is more tied to the earth. and is more aware of who he is,” declares the director. Suquet talks about that “interest in looking more at the lives of others than at our own. It seems that others always have better things than ours. In that sense, Marc has a stable relationship, with a good job, but for him “Work is the most important thing and you are forgetting about your partner.” The actor maintains that he approached his role with an “interesting fear because in the end it is playing two characters and it is a very enriching transformation process.”
Cuesta emphasizes above all “the passage of time and Ana would be a bit like the exponent of life. She is about to be a mother, she works as a gynecologist and brings life to the world every day. And she is also the mother of her partner because Marc “It’s something immature. He’s a really bright and positive character.” The actress admits that she would never do a house exchange like the one her character does, “especially after making the movie.” Mar, however, is very much in favor: “I would love to,” she says, laughing.
To choose the German actors, Targarona opted for Rainer Reiners, with whom he already worked in a small role in The Mauthausen Photographer -“she has brought extraordinary juice to her character”- and by Hildegard Schroedter, owner of a physique “who had to fulfill two very different functions.” The four actors worked a lot together to help each other and that included Cuesta learning to throw some insults in German.
Ana would be a bit like the exponent of life. She is a really bright and positive character.
Questioned about the use of artificial intelligence in the film industry, the Sevillian fears that people “prefer something created to something alive and live that generates emotions.” Suquet is still trying to “know what it is about and understand how it can be addressed. It is something that needs to be well regulated because it is inevitable and can help a lot in other fields. There are not only jobs at stake, but also identities,” she points out. Targarona, for her part, points out that she will work with AI: “It is a tool and I think it is misnamed. They have given it a name that generates anxiety in us and we must lose our fear of it.”
And speaking of fears, the director of Two He mentions that he is terrified of “the neighbors, if they are not well. I have some wonderful neighbors but one time some of them came who were rude.” And Cuesta comments that he had to leave a house “because of a neighbor who made our lives absolutely impossible.” “The everyday world has many things that are very scary. How lucky we don’t think about them or they don’t touch us. But if they touch you…”, Targarona concludes.
The everyday world has many things that are very scary