The Dardenne brothers have always been proponents of a reserved, human-driven sense of moral philosophy. Their films are broadly humanistic, always about working-class folk that drive against the blue-collar hero routine. Raw despondency leaks through the generally positive aspects of humanity involved with their characters, often asked to sacrifice a large part of their life in order to live up to “doing the right thing”. They’re political in the sense that they’re about issues typically involving poor protagonists, but subvert visual alliance to any political body or agenda.
The Broken Circle Breakdown is an unexpectedly beautiful musical parable about the contradictions of the universe. Rooted almost completely in a reality that seems like our own, it strips down the tropes of the Hollywood musical to paint an effective portrait of love, despair and pain. Elise and Didier fall in love, they sing together in a band, they have a beautiful daughter and then she falls ill; changing all what they knew about the universe. Using a non-linear format and beautifully utilized musical sequences, the film paints an exaggerated portrait of faith and love in the face of chaos.