Tag Archives: Spanish Cinema

Even The Rain (También la lluvia) – Movie Review

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Movie: Even the Rain

Original Title: También la lluvia

Releasing Year: 2010

Director: Icíar Bollaín 

Writer/Screenplay: Paul Laverty

Country of Origin: Spain

Language: Spainsh, Quecha and some English

 

Even The Rain Movie Review:

A Spanish film director Sebastian (Gael García Bernal), his producer Costa (Luis Tosar) and the entire crew travels to a town called Cochabamba in Bolivia. They intend to shoot a film on the explorations of Christopher Columbus (who created European awareness of the continents of America), the greed of the Spanish monarchs that Columbus worked for and the grave injustice with which the Spanish treated the local Indians.

Sebastian is looking for the right ‘Indian’ faces to be casted in his films. When he arrives in Cochabamba with his crew, he sees long queues of people waiting to be auditioned. His first confrontation with locals sparks trouble. Danial, one of these locals is a defiant man and insists on get his daughter auditioned for the film. In the process Sebastian realises that Danial’s face has a lot of character and power required for the role of a character in the film. Irrespective of Costa’s argument that Daniel smells of trouble, Sebastian gives casts him. The shooting begins.

Storyline:

As the movie proceeds we gradually come to understand the minds of the other member and actors within the crew. The man playing Columbus has a bad family life and spends his nights drinking. The two men acting as priests in the film are very excited about their roles but we doubt how much can they really connect with the ethical and spiritual side of the characters they are playing. Sebastian’s intentions are very sincere and his innate humanity is intact. Costa on the other hand looks at using the local faces as actors at a dirt cheap price. It is here that the film initially hints at its core- how well can this ambitious crew relate or empathise with the problems of the locals. If their intention is to tell the world about how one set of people misused power to exploit the weaker set, then aren’t they supposed to be the upholders of fairness and justice in their own actions while making the film?

This city is facing major scarcity of water due to the privatisation of water supply by global economic giants. The Government and the police try to curb the protest of the people. The film draws a comparison between the storyline of Columbus and Spanish monarchy humiliating the Indians and the extension of the same phenomenon centuries later in this so called modern world. Locals are furious as they can’t even the use the rain water anymore. Hence the name- Even the rain. The ways of the modern, economy friendly world wats to own the rain too!! While the natives have hardly enough drinking water, the rest of the film crew is partying with wine and flamboyant dinners merrily talking about the film. This stark contrast insinuates us as a viewer to look at the lives of ours and others in terms of the ‘actions and the sincerity of purpose’. It asks us- How did art originate? Why are we making films, creating symphonies, writing books etc, etc.? What is the purpose behind it all? Where does all this lead us? If we were living in a utopian world, would soulful art still be relevant? Well i think the answer to this would be NO. We live in a world full of meanness, callousness, decay and rotting morals. Probably hence civilisation started investing so much into art of different sorts not just for aesthetic pleasure but more so because Art is a great leveller. It helps us retain our humanity and sense of goodness. Albert Camus once said- A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.

I think, Art helps us reflect, introspect, question. It inspires. Well all this can only happen when the ones dealing with it are honest in their endeavours. And in my opinion, it is exactly this ideology that this film is trying to talk about. If the hearts of the director and the producer have dried out, how will they ever understand the significance of water in the lives of the locals they are trying to shoot with?

Daniel slowly gets heavily involved in the protests and gets beaten and locked up by the police. Sebastian and Costa are worried about their which cannot get completed without Daniel. Costa even tries to offer Daniel money to bait him into keeping away from the protest. And then we feel that here the Sebastian and Costa have misunderstood the whole purpose of making the film! The only question that remains are – Why are you doing, what you are doing?

I have also thought that it’s not just experience that makes you wise. It’s your own thinking about your experience that initiates the growth of wisdom. Two different people can have exactly the same experiences but their take away can be completely different. Here slowly Sebastian and Costa both understand the gravity of the situation. They try and empathise with the problems of the natives. And the film takes a beautiful and desirable change- of changing the minds of people to understand the world better. Costa goes on to help Daniel in his personal crises and offers him his friendship for a lifetime. Sebastian too gets drenched in the scenario trying to think in the right perspective, even if that means he has to sacrifice the film which is his dream project.

Even The Rain Movie Verdict:

Even The Rain is a very simple film. Nothing too intellectual on esoteric about it. No mind blowing camera angles….any gimmicks. And yet it is a lovely film. The effort is very sincere and the performances of the characters give justice to it. It rekindles in you that pain and passion for lost civilisations, for the real people and for humanity in general. The pace of the film is good and gripping. There isn’t a wasted moment. The battle for water does manage to nurture the sapling of courage and camaraderie in the minds of the affluent, for fellow humans. Daniel’s sincerity as a person and the circumstances does moisten the hearts that had dried out. Do watch the film……it will quench your thirst!

 

Reviewed By – Pallavi Patil  

 

Image Source: Centro Cultural de España Montevideo

Biutiful – 2010 Movie Review

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Movie – Biutiful

Direction and Screenplay by – Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Country – Mexico, Spain                                                                              Language – Spanish

Cast – Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib 

Releasing Year – 2010                                                                                 Genre –  Drama, Romance

Biutiful Storyline

“It’s dangerous to trust a man who is hungry and even more so if his children are hungry”, these are the words of a cop to the protagonist of the movie, Uxbal, played by Javier Bardem.

Uxbal with his two children lives in a very mediocre abode in Barcelona. He is separated from his wife Maramba, who suffers from a Bipolar disorder. She also works as a masseuse. She loves Uxbal very much but is emotionally very unstable. Marambra wants her husband but refuses to live a life tied down to the norms of marriage. Having fun even if it is inclined to infidelity, is her way of living. She often visit’s Uxbal’s home to spend time with their children.

For Uxbal, his children mean the world to him. He lives the dangerous life of a street criminal to support and feed his kids. Uxbal facilitates the business of piracy and manufacturing of duplicate fashion accessories that are illicitly sold on the streets of the cosmopolitan Spanish city. He also deals in the supply of illegal Chinese immigrants as a labour force to various construction sites. One of these chinese women babysits his kids after school.

Inspite of his business, Uxbal is not a bad person. He just accepts life and is trying to survive in this mean world with whatever ways possible. He confronts life at every corner and accepts bravely, his own share of destiny. Uxbal has lost his father when he wasn’t even born. But he sees his father in his dreams in which they both are talking to each other on a stark, cold and desolate landscape. Uxbal has a strong realisation of how hard life can be for kids without parents. And this sensibility encourages him to be a good father.

Very early in the movie, Uxbal discovers that he is suffering from an incurable form of cancer and doctors say that he has got only two more months left to live. He knows he is dying. Now he is left with only two concerns- to clear all loop holes and any leftover mess in his world of criminal business and to arrange for a secure future for his kids.

He has conflicts with his wife on matters like the upbringing of his children. Uxbal doesn’t want to die, but he has no choice. All that he is trying to do now is to be a good man and fix things up for all the people for whom he cares in this world. He is putting up a brave front but severe pain and anguish smother in his heart. Javier Bardem is a very humane and an effortless actor. His face, his eyes and his voice portrays grief in the most convincing manner. The desperation and agony oozes out of his performance all throughout.

He is not a very handsome man. And I think that this fact along with his slightly asymmetrical nose offers a great force of character to his face. He does not dwell on any particular mannerisms that would tie him down to a signature style of acting. He is very vivid…just like his roles.(Have you seen his ‘No country for old men’ and ‘The Sea inside’?

In the film, Uxbal knows the discomfort in the lives of the Chinese immigrants he deals with. He buys them second hand heaters so that they sleep with comfort in the cold godown at nights. But he buys heaters of cheap quality to save some money for himself. This mistake leads to a horrifying accident killing 20 Chinese including women and children. Uxbal feels torn apart by this incidence. He does want to earn some money for his children but he is not a murderer at heart. The harsh world yet hasn’t stripped him off his morality and basic humanity.

He suffers and can’t contain his sorrow and guilt. He tries to find redemption by confiding in an elderly female friend of his. These moments of confession and pain are some of the most heart stirring moments in the film. We as an audience can feel the inner goodness of Uxbal, a man trapped in the meanness and helplessness surrounding him.  He can’t change the ways of the world but can just provide for his children.

He also understands his wife’s distress and tries to bring some solace to her. He wants to do the best he can in the two months he is left with. His communication with his dad in his dreams helps him form stronger bonds with his own children. He tells his daughter Ana- “please don’t forget me after I am dead. Do think about your dad”.

 

Biutiful 2010 Movie In a Nut shel –

This film is an in depth look at a father’s mind and heart. It’s about his struggles to protect his family and his desperation to form a ‘BIUTIFUL’ bond with his kids. And this needs to be done in a world full of dilemmas, pain, misery, helplessness, hunger and self conflict. And where does the strength to see through this ruthless life come from? Well, it comes from our bonds of love!!

Reviewed By – Pallavi Patil