Saturday, March 05, 2005

Mar adentro

Meri sisälläni / Gråta med ett leende / The Sea Inside. ES/FR/IT (c) 2004 Sogecine and three other companies. CO-P+D+CO-SC+M+ED: Alejandro Amenábar. Based on the true story of Ramón Sampedro. DP: Javier Aguirresarobe. "Nessun dorma" (Puccini: Turandot) sung by José Manuel Zapata; Così fan tutte (Mozart); "Prisoners' Chorus" (Beethoven: Fidelio); Tristan und Isolde (Wagner). "Negra sombra" sung by Luz Casal. Starring Javier Bardem (Ramón Sampedro), Bélen Rueda (Julia), Lola Dueñas (Rosa), Mabel Rivera (Manuela). 125 min. A FS Film release with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Tarja Härkönen / Marko Hietikko. Viewed at Tennispalatsi 13, Helsinki, 5 March 2005. The film comes highly recommended, and I cannot but agree. It's the best Amenabár I've seen (I have yet to see Abre los ojos). It faces the stark subject head on: Ramón, quadriplegic since 30 years, fights for his right for legal euthanasia. Life is a right, not an obligation, and for Ramón, in his situation, his life is without dignity. Why is he always smiling? Because he is totally helpless. It is a remarkable achievement from the whole film-making team that out of such a subject-matter can grow a celebration of life. Perhaps the last half an hour drags a bit, yet it's a masterpiece. Great performances, great cinematography. ****

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