Tuesday, October 14, 2014

LA GRAN FAMILIA ESPAÑOLA
(FAMILY UNITED)

PELIKULA
SPANISH FILM FESTIVAL
Cinema 2, Greenbelt 3


People who regularly read this blog would know by now that I simply love voice-overs in movies. So the moment I heard a voice over annotating this Spanish comedy/drama, I was hooked.

It starts with Ephraim, the youngest of five brothers narrating that he and his siblings were named after the characters in his father's favorite film "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". The brothers were named alphabetically from the Bible and in chronological order: Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel and Ephraim. That they are two brothers short is beyond the point. 

Early on, it is established that Ephraim is getting married on a very important date. It just happens to be the day of the 2010 World Cup finals where Spain will meet Holland in the finale. 

All the numerous characters loaded with a gamut of facial expressions, peculiar behaviors and multiple traits are introduced through various scenes that all blend together. As expected, there are also various sub plots that touch on family secrets, infidelity, sibling rivalry, and many intrigues, which intertwine together and combine to produce one charmingly chaotic yet very well developed story line.

"Family United" (its English title - even though you don't need to be fluent in Spanish to understand that the real translation is "The Grand Spanish Family") mixes the two big passion of Spain - football (or soccer as it is known in other parts of the world) and family. Throw in a wedding setting and naturally a lot of dramatic and poignant moments tinged with really funny scenarios are bound to amuse the viewers.

It is the performances of the ensemble cast which really stand out and no matter how different their personalities are, the 5 brothers prove that what really counts is la familia! 

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