Sunday, October 15, 2006


5th Spanish Film Festival
Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3

Javi and Maria

Today was the last day of the Spanish film festival. I am amazed how popular this film festival has become, I remember last year there were a lot of empty seats. This year I had to practically camp out and line up way in advanced so I could get seats, it was full house during all of the screenings.

This Argentinean film is about Javier (Javi for short) and Maria. A couple living in Buenos Aires who dream of settling down in the US to pursue the American dream. They rush their marriage, arrange Maria's papers so she can go ahead of him to settle things and he will follow her in a few months. Simple enough. They are like any normal couple with dreams of making a good life. Conflicts arise when Maria phones him from the US to tell him she has met someone else and it would be better if he doesn't go to the US at all. So poor Javi is practically homeless, jobless and naturally distraught and heart broken. The film shows us how he deals with his 'problem'.

The movie is set in Buenos Aires. The plot has been done countless times in several movies but this is shown with an easing simplicity. There are some funny scenes which merit a few chuckles but mostly I found it rather sad. Well isn't it always sad when someone has to learn to move on after dealing with a traumatic break up?

I have to admit I expected a lot more from this movie, it didn't really scratch much off the surface of a delicate subject matter. I wanted it to be more analytical, more dialogue driven like some existential feature. A more gritty tale about loneliness and yearning. A tale of how someone copes with the harrowing experience of being 'abandoned' in life. But no, this film wasn't any of that. Maybe it never really wanted to deal with all those heavy meanderings, it just wanted to tell the story in a light hearted manner of one man's way of healing his conflicted soul.

Fair enough.

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