As PLONGER begins, we watch a love affair bloom between Paz (Maria Valverde) and César (Gilles Lellouche). She is a photographer, he is a writer, and they fall had and fast in love on the French coast. Soon she gets pregnant, and their relationship is cemented. Around this same moment, Paz is exposed to an avant-garde art project involving water and sound and she begins to question her own artistic vision. This, coupled with personal anxieties after her son is born causes her to leave the Parisian flat she shares with César for whereabouts unknown.

César does what he can to keep his life together, and remain a good father for their child. But when he gets a curious phone call one afternoon, he is forced to chase after Paz and get a few answers himself.

PLONGER moves from emotion to emotion as if they were stations of the cross. Where we begin with pure romance, and delicious sexiness, we soon find ourselves deeply uncertain, and mired in melancholy. So it goes for some of us – sometimes even the sexiest, most accomplished, most talented of us. In the end, we must confront feelings of isolation, and the way people who are surrounded every day can sometimes feel the most isolated.

Writer/director Mélanie Laurent has an obsession with sound, and as such this film becomes (pardon the pun) an immersive experience. Beacons ping in ways that are meant to soothe, and also in ways that are meant to annoy. Waves crash in a manner that remind us of going home, and faucets drip in ways that work our last nerve. It’s a key detail to a story of stress and depression that other directors may have skipped over.

One of the themes at the core of PLONGER is the search for balance in the lives of every artist. There’s already a challenge that faces creative souls when it comes to originality, and clarity of thought. What happens when that challenge is clouded with the responsibilities of being a parent and partner? Further, what happens if one feels anxiousness or depression from those new roles, and everything stops making sense?

It’s heartbreaking to consider a talented artist who feels uninspired or unworthy; it’s especially heartbreaking to see those feelings trickle over into a partner and parent. It happens all the time, all over the world, but that doesn’t make it any less wrenching to witness.

PLONGER can can weighted down sometimes under its own burden, but it’s a journey worth taking. It’s about a search for peace and a search for answers, both of which so many of us will be consumed by during our lives.