What a couple of women!

By: Daniel Céspedes Góngora

Patsy y Loretta (2019)

I remember the first time I heard Shania Twain was through the electromagnetic waves on the radio. A foreign station featured her single You’re Still the One and, without fully understanding the lyrics, seduced the melody and voice of the Canadian performer. Then I saw her in the video for the sticky country-listed song That Don’t Impress Me Much. A friend told me that the Twain had earned the qualifier of “the queen of country.” But, as far as my meache musical knowledge guided me, I rectified that that alias had already been bestowed on Dolly Parton. Maybe you heard something like that, I told him. After days, she saw me to make sure that, indeed, she had heard wrong: Shania Twain is “the queen of country-pop.”

I’ve heard little about the Twain again. Maybe because Taylor Swift has imposed hes, who I just didn’t like. And, although each has had many moments of fame, the two together do not surpass Patsy Cline (1932-1963). I don’t think that’s the case just because the Cline had a greater vocal record, but because she died young, when her music was going on an undisputed rise. Patsy knew how to work an image to seduce the market. But she took care of being, as far as she could, a singer of respect. He gradually enjoyed his period of living icon to grant posterity the creation of the legend.

I remember when it was assumed in the cinema by the magnificent Jessica Lange, who folded it in the songs, tried to give and achieved it in Sweet Dreams (Karel Reisz, 1985) to the artist imposing himself for her talent, the misunderstood wife and the sacrificed mother. Now director Callie Khouri, who holds an Academy Award for her screenplay for Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991), presents Patsy and Loretta (2019), whose poster clarifies it well: “Friends First, Icons in Second Place”. We know a lot or little about Crazy’s performer, but we forget that Loretta Lynn survived her to stand out as other great country music voices.

Patsy and Loretta’s simultaneous structure begins with the advancement of the Cline and the frustration of the four-year-old Mother Lynn. The latter has always wanted to be a singer, but circumstances have not allowed it. The first is an excellent reference for the second. Loretta seems to announce, although on a smaller scale, Patsy’s future. However, we know, how misery prevailed when patsy’s plane crashed on March 5, 1963.

With this friendship almost unknown to everyone, Callie Khouri pulls an ace up his sleeve to sustain a plot of personal progress without the masculine push of the versions of A Star Has Been Born. To assume such remarkable figures he calls Jessie Mueller, who plays Loretta Lynn and Megan Hilty as Patsy Cline. It’s amazing how for makeup and characterization Hilty looks a lot like Cline. Both actresses are Broadway stars and this is a point in favor of a film intended for television.

Care for children, leave the home space, face impulsive husbands… in order to test whether you are in the right vocation and overcome yourself, it is how much these two women who, for their time, were tempted to go against the current face. “What do you want?” asks Patsy to Loretta after meeting. “You want to be a singer, she answers it too.” If the film lacked true vicissitudes, it would surely have incurred an expected rivalry between the two singers: the established artist and the one who is just beginning out. Luckily, we are in the selection of those relevant events that consolidate an authentic friendship by mutual respect.

Art and its creators, thus subordinating to reality film, should lead to the reconstruction of a personal image according to those who observe it. Thanks to audience differences, movies typically display more than one point of view and an atmosphere. Hence the multiplicity of the image according to the viewer’s gaze.

A written biography or biographical film (biopic) reveals the most outstanding details of a lifetime. As events are linked as they are counted, they have to leave a kind of openings – not unforgivable oversights – for the viewer to notice by intuition and reasoning other nuances and intentions. The whole by virtue of its parts. In this sense, Patsy and Loretta is a feature film open to several comments on the role of women, the importance of vocation, friendship, multi-formattic commitment in a country confronted with itself at the start of the sixties. However, both singers had neither the slightest suspicion of the many sociopolitical and cultural changes that were about to occur. Patsy Cline barely sensed them. Loretta would live to tell them.

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