San Sebastian 2023 | Mutilate yourself to know if it’s a ‘match’: this is the love technique proposed by ‘This is going to hurt you (Fingernails)’

Nails, it seems, reflect our state of health, but what no one could have imagined is that, perhaps, they could also be a barometer of our feelings, of the (romantic) love we profess for our partner. Unless someone discovers that this is indeed the case, the Greek director Christos Nikou he has imagined it in his film This is going to hurt (Fingernails).

In his first foray into international cinema, Nikou (Apples2020) turns its gaze to a more or less recent past to reflect on the nature of love through a tragicomic story about intimate relationships and the difficulties of expressing our feelings. This is going to hurt is the story of Anna, engaged to Ryan and sure of her feelings after ‘having been tested’ and testing positive for love. When she starts working at the Institute of Love, a center for sentimental ‘re-education’, she meets Amir and begins to doubt.

‘This is going to hurt’ (Fingernails)’: movie review


It is impossible not to think about Lobsterby Yorgos Lanthimos, when approaching This is going to hurt (Fingernails). The same autumn tones and a similar vision of romantic relationships unite them. However, although the jokes and certain violence due to the emotional defects of the film’s protagonists may invite us to make that comparison, Christos Nikou, in reality, does believe in love.

Anna (Jessie Buckley) also believes in love. Not only that, she is a hopeless romantic who loves singing Bonnie Tyler and loves Hugh Grant’s films.. In Esto te va a pain (Fingernails) we find ourselves sometime in the mid-90s, but the carpet and wood that decorate the houses and offices could take us back to much earlier, when the dream of smartphones was just a sketch.

‘This is going to hurt (Fingernails)’

These coordinates help Nikos to locate an anti ‘rom-com’ in which there is pedestrian technology (pun intended) to find out if a couple is truly in love: through a physical-chemical study, the fingernails They allow you to know if your love is at the same level as your partner’s. The neurosis over this test has caused everyone to rely solely on this test to know the state of their love, thereby causing an even larger gap in interpersonal relationships.

But, Once you have achieved the desired positive with your partner, does that test validate a relationship forever? It is not a trivial question and it is the one that torments the protagonist, in a sea of ​​doubts about her partner Ryan (a charismatic Jeremy Allen) since he started working at the Institute of Love and met Amor (Riz Ahmed).

With a tragicomic tone, based on a measured production design and with many winks, in addition to the chemistry between its protagonists, Nikou achieves an unusual, seductive romantic comedy that, like the most paradigmatic works of the genre, questions the key dilemmas of love.: What is love: infatuation, affection, passion or stability? We will continue to think about it until the end of our days, and hopefully we will not have to resort to our fingernails to find the answer once and for all.

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