The story of life and twists and turns of the search for the identity of Anne’s figure

Previously, the ‘Anne+’ series was introduced at the Dutch Film Festival with the first season being released on 30 September 2018 and the second season being released on 3 March 2020. After the success of the ‘Anne+’ series in the previous two seasons, this time Anne’s life story is continued in a film entitled ‘Anne+: The Film’.

The film, which has been aired on Netflix, has the theme of finding the identity of a girl who grows up as a lesbian and a woman in the Netherlands. Directed by Valerie Bisscheroux from a script by Maud Wiemeijer, the film returns to feature Hanna van Vliet as Anne with her new partner, Jouman Fattal as Sara, and a new non-binary character, Thorn Roos de Vries as Lou.

‘Anne+’ tells the story of Anne, a girl in her twenties, who is preparing to move with her boyfriend, Sara, to Montreal. Sara, who at that time got a job in Montreal planned that Anne could quickly finish her work in Amsterdam and follow her.

After Sara leaves, Anne feels vacillating in the middle of the deal they have made. He felt unable to leave the house he had in Amsterdam and left the life he had, ranging from friends, family, to his job. Moreover, Anne also had difficulties with her unfinished writing. This makes Anne even more depressed by her move to Montreal and her relationship with Sara.

With a career in shambles, relationships on the wane, and many questions about the future swirling, Anne has to make some tough decisions and finally begins to pay attention to what feels right. Helped by her friends, family, and new friend, Lou, Anne finally had the courage to open up and get to know herself more.

The focus of Anne’s life story
As the title suggests, this film certainly focuses more on Anne’s life as a teenage lesbian who grows up and is swayed by her life choices. Maybe there is nothing interesting, impressive, or thrilling in Anne’s life story, which makes this film intertwined with a simple plot, quite organized, and tends to be boring.

However, that’s the beauty of ‘Anne+’. This film focuses on Anne’s worries, which allows the audience to connect and share Anne’s anxiety. Hanna van Vliet beautifully displays the figure of Anne who does not know her own biggest desires and problems.

The anxiety of the younger generation
One of the fun things when watching this film, is the openness and courage of Lou’s character to convey what is on his mind, compared to Anne who joins in the conversation. Like a dialogue film, there is no need for beautiful cinematography to make this film memorable, because the conversation that has developed between the two has made ‘Anne+: The Film’ to show its own strengths.

Lou and Anne were so absorbed in their conversation about the gap between the younger generation and their predecessors, or even what they thought about the choice of identity they held. It’s as if the audience is made to understand being an LGBTQ+ and non-binary human being in the midst of the times.

This was mentioned when Anne found it difficult to open up with parents who opposed her being a lesbian. While Sara and Lou’s parents were able to accept the choice over their child, Anne found it difficult to get their approval. Parents have always considered their children’s deviant sexual orientation to be part of the process of maturation – even though this may be true.

However, there are times when the identity that we believe in today is a definite choice that cannot be contested or even blamed for age.

This film also makes the audience more appreciative of the importance of an identity. Seen when Anne corrected Sara several times to her best friend on calling for Lou, considering she is non-binary. It also awakens our sensitivity to those around us, respects what they believe and tries not to turn it into an offensive joke or culture.

Nice friendship
Most teenagers with the age of 20 years and over must experience a phase called the quarter-life-crisis. In the film ‘Anne+: The Film’ this condition is very clearly seen in Anne’s figure. Amazingly, Anne’s friends are always loyal to help and help her get up in this adversity.

Loss of direction and purpose, the warmth that was felt thanks to the emotional scene when Anne suddenly burst into tears after playing with her friends, was palpable. I was almost moved to tears. Like seeing a friend who has lost their way, the audience may want to hug Anne and say that everything will be okay.

Although they still don’t take part in the film, the togetherness and chemistry that exists between each of Anne’s friends looks sincere and loyal to help. No need for complicated words or beautiful speeches to build memories, just be as close as possible within Anne’s reach to accompany this sweet figure.

‘Anne+’ is a simple lesbian film that does not make the audience feel sorry for their life choices, but rather builds a positive perspective on their existence. Besides that, not selling too much sadness, ‘Anne+: The Film’ focuses more on the story of a teenager growing up in general, like most people.

There are many adult scenes that may be worth considering for viewers under the age of 18. The rest, I think this film is quite beautiful to enjoy. Thanks to Hanna van Vliet and Thorn Roos de Vries for being the most shining stars in this film.

By Rama