Arlette Linstrom does everything in her power to help her daughter, Caralique, succeed in fashion and have a better life. She teaches Caralique to stick to her instincts to achieve her childhood dreams. Arlette is an ode to mothers and all they sacrifice.
Some important themes are woven into the tapestry of this film and its story. The importance of parental guidance and encouragement, not to mention following one’s passion and dreams, are integral parts of this family drama.
The film opens in Paris, France, where a woman named Arlette (Helene Cardona) is drawing a design and she dreams of being a fashion designer, or “making clothes full of color and whimsy.” The narrator shares that Arlette met Michael Linstrom (Josh Margulies), “and the two would fall in love.” Soon, a baby is shown and the narrator, Caralique, says “And that is me.” She adds that her parents taught her everything she knows about colors and fashion.
Interestingly, Caralique says she even helped her mother choose colors by the time she was one! It’s obvious that young Caralique (played by Kali Funston) will be following in her mother’s footsteps with her love for colors and design. Her mom fueled her passion and will play a crucial part in Caralique not giving up when met with challenges and obstacles. Isabella Blake-Thomas portrays the teen Caralique and she’s quite good in the role.
Caralique grows in her knowledge, learning such things as patching and stitching. But she also stumbles a bit along the way, such as when a feather machine breaks on stage, covering the models at a show with the flying feathers. Some slipping and sliding takes place in front of the photographer at the show and Caralique’s mother is devastated.
Arlette has doors closed on her and then things get worse when her husband, Caralique’s dad, passes away. Caralique comments that she watched as “the colors drained from her life.” Her mother gives up her dream of being a fashion designer but Caralique takes up the mantle, and vows to never give up her dreams of being a fashion designer herself, “for both of them.”
Caralique is not shy, telling her friends at school what they should wear, and even telling her doctor that he should wear a different shirt because he looks like a pirate!
In one dramatic scene, Arlette has an administrative job interview which she really needs. She and Caralique have been sleeping in their vehicle, where a thief attempts to steal their belongings from the roof of the vehicle. Arlette doesn’t have the necessary experience or background for this particular job, but she begs for a chance. The interviewer, named Benny (Marcelo Tubert), says he understands but can’t offer her the job because when her inexperience showed up, he would lose his own job. However, when Benny sees a drawing of Caralique’s, with Benny in a space suit, he likes what he sees and believes his company can use the design. He offers to pay for the drawing and the administrative position is offered to Arlette after all! Because of her job at Interstellar, Arlette and Caralique are able to move into their own home. Caralique says her favorite part of the home is the “gigantic walk-in wardrobe” and that she made her best fashion creations in that room.
There are several things to think about while viewing this film. Death and grief are a part of the story, and these scenes could open up dialogue between parents and their children. The difference that mothers make in a child’s life and the sacrifices they make are also good conversation pieces. And as a deceased person is mentioned as watching from heaven, life after death and one’s belief in the Lord can be a great topic of conversation and dialogue. Also, determination and endurance during challenges and failures can be an important part of the conversation. Caralique invents a cap with a graduation gown, and her plan is that when graduates toss their caps into the air they will return like a boomerang to the graduate. This backfires at first and Caralique has to deal with her principal and others. But she continues to move forward. Caralique also is limited in her time for her passion for design, and she begins to miss work. When she loses her job, her mother encourages her, telling her that she chose her passion. Hard work and tenacity are nice themes in the movie.
This movie has earned our Dove seal for All Ages. It is rated TV-G. It should be noted that young kids would probably not follow the story or enjoy it as much as older kids will.
THE DOVE TAKE: This movie does a solid job in portraying the rewards of tenacity and perseverance, and that, along with the fine acting and music, makes for a wholesome viewing experience.