Ritual ★★★★½

The Earth is vast and heavily populated, and that's easy for all of us to see. How we perceive our presence here is where things tend to differ from person to person. Some people see the world as an open landscape full of endless opportunities, and every new face they encounter represents the possibility of a new friendship. However, others see the world as a horrifyingly expansive space populated by dreams that will never become actualized and people who are always nearby but just out of touch. Maybe those with the less flowery perspective saw things differently in the past, but it's hard to stay positive when the people who are supposed to love and embrace us decide to demean and tear so many of us down instead.

When that love and warmth that we have come to depend on and expect from the people closest to us is no longer a part of our lives, what else are we to do but try and find an escape from the world that feels so lonely and cold? Sometimes building up walls and constructing a new world for ourselves seems like the most sensible option. So that's what She does in Ritual. She creates routines for herself and lives in a fantasy world to try and make the pain subside. But, unfortunately, She learns that this doesn't always work out. She comes to find out that the moments in our lives where we felt hurt become a part of who we are, and no newly-constructed world can erase the moments that are etched into our minds and struck us to our cores.

So, if reality feels like it's too much to bear, and we can't get away from it all, what are we to do? Well, we can only hope we find someone willing to walk through the fire with us and stand by our side when times are tough. A person willing to listen and lend a shoulder to lean on – a person who will spend quality time with us. They won't be able to make all of our problems go away, but their presence can serve as a beacon of hope and light in an exhausting and dark world.

And that's precisely what the film shows. She meets a Director. He's got some of his own issues to work through too. They are two truly lost souls and seemingly opposites, but they manage to find comfort in each other's company. More importantly, they help each other feel better about themselves and the world around them. No doubt that they'll both have plenty of challenges and issues to work through moving forward, but none of those will be as daunting to face as long as they are by each other's sides. A truly gorgeous film that shows there is nothing more beautiful or powerful than a genuine, loving friendship or relationship.

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