Friday, October 6, 2006


5th Spanish Film Fest
Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3


The second movie I caught at the ongoing Spanish film fest at Greenbelt 3 cinemas is a tale of 5 distinctly different women. Women from a wide spectrum of society, each one dealing with various problems and set in the beautiful city of Madrid. All of them loosely connected to each other in more or less the same way.

Adela is a single mother and a brothel coordinator. Anita is the autistic/retarded child of Adela. Isabel is a rich socialite trapped in a doomed marriage with a shoe fetish. Leire is a young woman who works 2 jobs while trying to move on after a break up. MariCarmen is a taxi driver and a step mother to her late husband's three children.

The flow of the movie is very fluid. A scene at the brothel for instance slides through smootly to the next scene involving another character, quite effortlessly. Conflicts of all sorts arise. Heartbreak, loneliness, sadness, feelings of inadequacy, the desire to be loved, as well as the acceptance of harsh realities. Pretty common emotions yet each of them are perfectly portrayed by different scenarios and situations. These are strong albeit deeply complex and flawed women who try to understand the meaning of life. They cope with various obstacles that arise from these conflicts. Whether they face it head on or take a U turn, it is always fascinating to watch how people deal with obstacles.

Great acting from all of the actresses. Character development is very well defined. The beautiful city of Madrid is the silent witness to the struggles of these women. Narration is provided by one of the women. I like movies with narration, it feels like they are directly addressing us, the viewer. It makes it more intimate and personal. There is also an analogy between the shoes they wear and how it represents their personalities. As for the main title, 'Stones' well I like to think that they are the path or stepping stones on which these women tread daily as they live their lives the best way they can. I know it might come across as some chick flick but I think that it goes beyond that. More importantly it is a very good movie on the human persona. Probably inspired by those Pedro Almodovar movies which explores and celebrates the lives of women, this film succeeds brilliantly in its aim.

A movie with soul ... and sole, too!

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