Friday, October 17, 2014

CANIBAL
(CANNIBAL)

PELIKULA
SPANISH FILM FESTIVAL
Cinema 2, Greenbelt 3


I had my reservations about watching this film because I was under the impression it would show some really gory scenes. But it was not to be. Well I hope, I don't sound disappointed because I am glad with the way the film handled the cannibalism aspect.

Carlos is a prestigious tailor in a small town in Granada. But his well dressed and quiet demeanor exterior hides a chilling secret. He feeds on human flesh. But as I mentioned above, the film avoids gore but gets the point across in moments that do not involve actual.teeth.biting.into.raw.human.flesh scenes. Although the hunt and chase for his 'victims' is chillingly portrayed through silently haunting and terrifying vignettes.

Carlos is pretty much a loner, hardly socializes and does not really have any friends in town. But he is a much respected tailor and judging from his esteemed and well heeled clientele, he makes quite a good living as a tailor.  Things get a bit messy when his new neighbor Alexandra moves into the upstairs flat. A Romanian who speaks Italian, she is clearly a troubled soul and leads a chaotic life. A stark contrast to Carlos' ordinarily routine life.

An intriguing yet quiet attraction develops between the two of them, although neither of them act on it. Until one day, Alexandra just vanishes after she seeks Carlos help with a domestic dispute. A few days later, Nina her twin sister comes to investigate the disappearance and also finds herself drawn towards the reticent tailor who lives downstairs. She too is intrigued by the supportive Carlos who 'helps' her find Alexandra. Although, we know that he probably killed and ate her as well. 

As the film and their mutual attraction progresses, numerous questions abound. Little if ever any facts are known about Carlos. What drives him to kill women then eat them? Is he truly falling in love with Nina or is she just another victim for him? There are too many elements of the film and the characters themselves that is never really explored.  

As the 'secret' and twist is revealed towards the ending, the natural reaction of Nina is both shocking and a bit underwhelmed, to say the least. Until the final scene of reckoning for Carlos comes to a close, the film barely answers any of the questions that twirls inside the audience's discerning minds. 

The cinematography though is top notch with vividly clear scenes of a small town, the snow capped mountain (where he vacations in his cabin) which all nicely capture the quiet nature of both the main character as well as the manner the film unfolded across the screen.

Although I was relieved that the depravity of its main character was not exposed through bloody and messy scenes, I was also disappointed that the audience is simply made to accept Carlos for what he is - a cannibal who just happens to be a tailor!

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