(us) wrote: Ever felt that you were just not good enough? Ever felt that you were alone despite being surrounded with a lot of people? Ever felt that, if given the chance, those people around you would leave you all alone when you needed them most? The Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre's and Luc's, 'Two Days One Night' is a Belgian drama film that presents just that. The film portrays the struggle of a young woman, Sandra, played by Marion Cotillard, who is about to not only lose her job at a local factory, but also her mental well-being. The idea of the 'survival of the fittest' is priestly presented in the film through the scope of Sandra's Character; A character that is weak, lacks self confidence and obviously not fit to survive, translating to her struggling to keep her job, losing her battle with her 'big other'. The film starts off with the introduction of Sandra waking to a phone call from a colleague, Juliette, played by Catherine Sale. We find out that Sandra is on a sick leave as due to her breaking down due to a depressive episode. During that sick leave her boss told her colleagues at work to either vote for her to stay or to get a 1000 Euro bonus. With her not being there, all her colleagues but two voted for the bonus. Sandra, however, with the help of Juliette and her husband, Manu, played by Fabrizio Rongione, is able to convince her boss to overthrow the decision and be given an opportunity to a revote. She then spends her weekend running around, hence 'two days one night', talking to her colleagues, trying to convince them that by voting for her, they might be losing their bonus, but in return, they would be helping her, a friend, by allowing her to keep her job and keep her salary, which her family utmost needs and frankly depend on. Interestingly, the film presents Sandra's colleagues opposing her staying as fairly good people. Most of them are hardworking people that genuinely need the money. The film is a drama that is very repetitive and boring at times, as we see Sandra going from person to person. The idea of repetitiveness is bolded when you hear her using the same story and even use the speech to justify why the should vote for her. Yet, for some reason, despite the boring repetitiveness, the audience are kept on their toes, keen to find out what each person response to her request is. Perhaps, this is because of the realism aspired to by the film as the Dardenne brothers used the thrilling form of the drama to portray 'normal' people's struggles. The Dardenne brothers did a great job at presenting Sandra's character using distant camera shots and long takes, promoting a more subtle, easily relatable character. Large credit must also be given to Marion Cotillard, who won an oscar nomination as a result of playing the character of Sandra exceptionally well. Her melding into Sandra's character is absolutely seamless, allowing the audience to be able to relate and sympathise with her in every way possible. Also, her acting presents, a very realistic representation of what a depressed patient would be like, feel like and go through, mainly because it was not over-done like in most movies, but also because of the added 'realistic factor' added through the acting and the camera work. Sandra's struggles throughout the film is not only due to the probability of her losing her job, but also due to her serve depression and lack of self confidence. We can immediately relate with her character as most of us are under the power of some sort of 'big other' where our unexpected dismissal is always possible, and frankly is very feared. The film presents the idea of the inevitable control of the 'big other' and how no matter how hard Sandra or any person tries, the 'big other' will always find a way to do what they want. This is shown in the film through the boss's decision, whom seems to be Sandra's 'big other', at the end whereby Sandra still once again gets out-voted, yet he's ready to re-hire her and replace a currently part-time working person. Further, the idea of opposing the big other is further established in the character of Anne, played by Christelle Cornil. Anne's big other is her husband, whereby, her agreeing to help Sandra and vote for her, sparks an argument with her husband. She later goes to Sandra and tells her that she would help and later on we find out that she's getting a divorce. The divorce may not be directly because of that but it was definitely sparked because of it. Anne realised that she was unhappy and didn't have any power, as she stated, "I have never made a decision on my own in my whole life". This shows her struggling against a big other, the husband, whom apparently seems to be controlling. As scary as the idea may be, 'survival of the fittest' is perhaps one of the main themes of the film. At the start of the film, Sandra is seen as a lazy character who later develops into a weak, self-doubting individual about to lose everything. Moreover, as the film progresses, the Sandra develops into a stronger, more confident character whom overcame her depression episode, after she is able to convince half of her colleagues to reconsider their decisions and vote for her. Even though she still ends up without a job as she loses the second vote, she still won her confidence back. As audience, we are then reassured that she will be able to go on with her life and find another job. This screams need to be strong and confident, fit, in order to survive.