A Present Light

A depressed insomniac is driving in the rain at night when a tall, buxom woman in a glittering evening dress calls out, “Beware of the slippery road – it’s dangerous!” He comes off his moped, and so begins the start of tentative but nurturing friendship.

Diana is the woman. Despite her flashy dress and her ample frame, she is surprisingly gentle and tender. She visits him in the hospital, mending his torn up clothes. I like how the film doesn’t just expect us to assume that Diana is kind, like so many films just expect you to think well of the main character. We see Diana howf Goncalo’s moped up 4 flights of stairs to her flat, to keep it safe. When she scrapes the bannister, we see her go back and paint over the scratch using her nail varnish. In this small unnoticed act, you see her consideration for others.

Goncalo’s more stand-offish. Previous to coming off his bike, he had visited his therapist in the middle of the night, who fed him a sleeping pill for his insomnia. It’s probably that which made him come off his bike, but given his state of mind, it’s possible it wasn’t entirely an accident. He feels quite closed in his early interactions with Diana.

Slowly as they begin their friendship, after Goncalo leaves hospital, they bring a hope and companionship to one another’s lives. A straightforward and tender story.