The Spanish Film Festival had a great run the past two weeks over at the Greenbelt Cinemas. On its 10th year, it had a pretty interesting line up of movies. I am, I think, in my fourth year of being a patron and it has been a yearly thing I have been eagerly waiting. Glad I was able to watch three films. It was supposed to be four, but tickets for Biutiful has gone sold out one week ahead of screening. I did a marathon of the three movies last Saturday with good friends Lei and Aden. As expected, we enjoyed it!
Fuera De Carta (Chef’s Special) was the first one I’ve seen that day. It was crazy funny! It’s a story of Maxi, a famous cook who owns a restaurant somewhere in Madrid. He’s a homosexual living his seemingly happy and no-problem life, until Edu and Alba (his children from a previous relationship), and Horacio, an Argentinian ex-football player moved in to be his neighbor, stirs up everything. Not to mention the restaurant’s financial problem to make it more, um, interesting.
The characters were hilarious. Maxi’s friend/staff Alex made the movie unforgettable. The role of the sexy girl who’s desperate of a man who would love her seemed to fit her really well. Ramiro, another staff at the restaurant, is also such a character. I loved the scene where he pretended to be Maxi when the guy from Michelin visited. I was laughing my head off!
Despite the movie being funny, it’s also heart warming. It values family, work, and friends, and reminds us that it’s never too late to mend the wounds of broken relationships and start anew. Having said that, I personally think this is a must watch because of the fact that most people can relate to it. I especially liked the movie’s soundtrack. Both the slow and fast ones, even though I couldn’t understand most of the words. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Gordos (Fat People) was the second movie I watched. From the title alone, I knew I could relate to it. It is a comedy about life’s excesses and deficiencies; about our insecurities, phobias, obsessions, traumas, mistakes, fears, blame, desires, hopes, challenges, concessions, goals, relationships, love, sex, health, family; about survival in the widest and “largest” sense of the word.
I liked the film’s approach in discussing the above mentioned aspects. It may be too complicated to some, but watching it will make you realize that it is really happening. No, it did not show or mainly focused on how to lose weight, but rather on facing the truth about yourself and what you will do to either accept it or not. And that’s where the human struggle enters the scene, that you’d get tangled with it your whole life.
I love what the main character said before the movie ended. That it is only by ourselves that we can discover who and what we are; that is only you and you alone that can help yourself. It kind of struck a nerve to me, seriously. Watching this somehow made me feel awakened. 3 out of 5 stars.
Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside) was the one I watched with friends Lei, who is a big Javier Bardem fan, and Aden. We initially wanted to do a back to back Bardem that day, but as what I’ve mentioned, Biutiful got sold out before we knew it. Bardem made me teary eyed. Great way to cap off my Pelicula marathon!
The film revolves around the story of Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic, who fought a 30 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die. With his great personality and generosity, he made two different women eager to help him achieve his goal.
There are a lot to say about the movie. I was actually split on what to feel towards the euthanasia part, but from the mindset of Ramon Sampedro, I guess he does have a point. Quite a number of arguments were raised – religion, state and government, human rights, and of course family and the love you are willing to give whole heartedly even if it’s painstakingly difficult for you to keep up. I got lumps on my throat at the scene where his family finally decided to let Ramon go to Rosa. Really heartbreaking.
Upon composing this entry, I found out that the one who played Rosa was the same one who played Alex in Fuera De Carta! I didn’t recognize her at all. Rosa was actually the character I loved the most in this film. A very eager lady, crazy at times, but so lovable.
Being a beach person that I am, it is a given for me to love all the beach scenes. The very first frame at the start of the film, which came in from blurry to magnificently clear, is a dream destination. Serene, picturesque, calm, and very inviting. And also a noteworthy scene is when Ramon seemed like he flew out of the window, exploring the outside, taking us to the beach where Julia was. Lovely! It was like I am flying, too. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Needless to say, it was a great Película year for me. Three films, not bad. Especially that I enjoyed them all. I do hope to watch more next year, though. I will make it a point to buy tickets at the first day, that’s a promise!
Hasta la próxima, queridos amigos! 🙂