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The lost file: analysis and interpretation of the film

on a lost row (The Lost Daughter, originally) was the first film directed by the American actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. Released at the end of 2021, it is an adaptation of the homonymous work by Elena Ferrante, pseudonym of an unknown Italian writer.

It stars renowned British actress Olivia Colman, praised for her incredible performance in a long film.

Synopsis and trailer

The Lost Row | Official Trailer | Netflix Brazil

The story goes off the coast of Greece and is accompanied by Leda, a 48-year-old university professor who decides to travel sozinha to rest on her fairs.

Everything goes as expected, since Leda sees her space invaded by a large family, which emerges throwing her peace.

She spends time observing the people around her and raises an obsession with Nina, a young mother, and her daughter Elena.

The dynamic between mother and daughter is conflictual. Leda perceives Nina's anguish and anxiety in her role as a mother, so she identifies with her and develops a curious relationship with a girl.

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Emotionally overwhelmed, Leda ends up reliving moments of her own story, tracing in a tone of memory the dramatic period in which her files were small.

(Attention! From here or article contain spoilers!)

Analysis and interpretations

There are several layers of meanings, reflections and symbols that we can extract from A lost file, whether it is not a book or a film.

In an intimate narrative and suspense cheia, or longa éum drama-psychological that sheds light on questions and concerns inherent in the feminine universe. Assim, I contributed for a realistic and cruel view of the experience of becoming mother in our society.

Dakota Johnson in A Lost File
Dakota Johnson not role of Nina em on a lost row

Perhaps for two viewers, the protagonist seems like a “cruel” or “selfish” woman and the issues that Permeiam to history sejam seen as "banais", in the end, treat, among other things, give motherhood and seus challenges.

Meanwhile, who manages to connect and identify with these anguish, coveralls or female audiences, engages in Leda a real woman, full of contradictions and genuine and understandable dramas.

Addressing delicate questions, the story "place the finger in the wound" or expose a character in conflict with their family relationship - with the files and as a husband.

This is because it clearly shows how the idea of ​​“always happy family” or the label of “margarine commercial family” is often not applied in practical life, being just an idealization.

Lost Filha dinner. young leda
Actress Jessie Buckley plays Leda in her youth

Na plot, sentiments like guilt, saudosismo, inveja, ressentimentos and desire to “consertar” or past we skip our eyes. They make us merge in the psyche of Leda, tracing hard questions of our own biography, be it as children or as children in the country.

Alias, a theme that emerges strongly and differs between what is expected by two men and women when they assume the upbringing of two children. The man is not charged that he is always present in the training of the children, being understandable his eventual afastamento, whether for professional or personal reasons. Já para a mulher, a cobrança e julgamento são implacáveis ​​nesses cases.


Some elements present do not entangle their essence to give a somber tone and trace important metaphors and symbols. A boneca is one of these objects and emerges as a representation of the past for Leda.

After Elena's temporary disappearance, along with Nina, Leda stole the girl's boneca and took her with her, leaving the girl behind soon and causing enormous stress for her mother. To question what is: Why did Leda hit boneca?

A lost file dinner, Leda as a boneca
Olivia Colman at dinner on a lost row

The reasons are not known exactly, and when she is questioned by Nina, she evasively answers that it was "to have fun". But analyzing her psychological profile, we can assume that boneca served her as a symbolic resource. to revive their relationship with their own children, tracing an opportunity to mother in a way different.

Meanwhile, dynamics like a boneca repeats actions from the past, like abandonment and return, perceived when she hides her wardrobe, throws her wardrobe, plays no lixo, throws her lixo, among other contradictory attitudes.

The kidnapping of the boneca can also be used as an explanation or desire to cause discomfort to the family, which causes painful lembranças. Leda sees herself with a power in her hands and is so excited.

It is still interesting to perceive Leda's obsession with draining and cleaning the boneca, draining the water from its interior, in an exhausting and useless action. Another highlight is the moment in which a larva springs from within, suggesting that this inanimate object be alive.

The film locks herself up as the protagonist on the beach, after being wounded by Nina when she hands her over to boneca e confessa o roubo. Ao agree, she talks about the files on the phone and answers that she doesn't die, she says "Na truth, I'm alive".

Maggie Gyllenhaal, the director of the film, subverts the end of the book, which presents a more melancholic dialogue, where Leda says "I'm dead, but I'm fine".

In this way, it is possible to interpret that Leda survives Nina's attack and manages to reconcile in some way with his past, in order to experience traumatic experiences and relive part of his history.

Data sheet

Qualification: on a lost row
The Lost Daughter
director Maggie Gyllenhaal.
em based The Dark Figlia, by Elena Ferrante
  • Olivia Colman as Leda
  • Jessie Buckley as Young Leda
  • Dakota Johnson as Nina
  • Peter Sarsgaard as Professor Hardy
  • Paul Mescal as Will
  • Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Toni
  • Ed Harris
  • Dagmara Dominczyk
  • Jack Farting as Joe
  • Alba Rohrwacher
Year of launch: 2021
Classification: 16 years
Duration: 121 minutes
Country of origin: USA

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