Tuesday, October 11, 2011


10th Spanish Film Festival
Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3

The premise of this film would certainly ring a bell with people who have had to struggle with weight issues. We all deal with this problem in our daily life so this in-depth thought provoking film will appeal to all genre.

Judging by the title alone, you would think it is a comedy that mocks fat people. Fortunately, it resists the easy joke or gross-out gag mostly portrayed about people who have a difficult time losing weight. In fact, "Gordos" embraces them, and turns what could have been a simple comedy drama - why do people end up overweight? What might they do about it? - into something far deeper and more affecting in the process.

The plot revolves around a therapy session where overweight people talk about the various reasons behind their obesity. It's a laudably adult production, earthy, smutty and raw yet with witty, intelligent and deeply moving scenarios.

The script shuttles rapidly among the various stories. An ensemble cast do their best to personify the numerous characters. All of them portrayed with much depth and dimension. In fact, I read that the director took a long time to complete the film because he really wanted his cast to gain weight as the story progressed. Quite effectively, it worked to give the story much authenticity.

We get a mix of satire (pointing out the similarities between religion and food consumption); absurd comedy and even teen drama where an overweight teenager is constantly bullied about her weight. Much emphasis is put on our culture's obsession with appearance with clever humor added in through dialogue that is highly tinged with loads of sarcasm.

It's a comedy about fat people that neither mocks them for cheap laughs nor puts them on a pedestal. Obesity's an integral part of the plot but the narrative also examines who the characters would be without it. While it's not a film for everyone, and in some instances it was a bit dragging, it had a good point. By examining obesity from several different angles, ages and social settings, it suggests, perhaps unsurprisingly, that it isn't really the weight that is the issue!

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