DVD review entries
February 10, 2005
Writing about web page http://www.mar-adentro.com/
As a keen fan of Alejandro Amenabar since Abre los Ojos (reproduced later as Vanilla Sky) I went to the cinema tonight with high expectations. As it turned out, I was not to be disappointed. While it was challenging to follow due to the many Spanish dialects featured and French subtitles as my only recourse, I was surprised at how quickly the two hour long film passed.
Mar Adentro is the story of Ramon Sampedro, who fought for his right to euthanasia after 28 years of quadriplegia following an accident. The film shows the character of a man that had no will to live and one that gave meaning to the lives of others, all the time maintaining the philosophical debate of whether or not someone should have the right to die. Interspersed with views of the Galician landscape in which the film is set, there is also very much an artistic aspect to appreciate.
Where the film really wins over, however, is in the development of a bond between the audience and the characters, with their emotions quickly becoming your own. It even has the tearjerker moment, to soften even the most hard-hearted. This is made possible by some very competent interpretations of complex characters, each of which adds another perspective to the film.
My only complaint is that the soundtrack occasionally seemed to lose coherence with the images, which momentarily spoiled the mood, but these are just a few small instances and do little to detract from the overall feel of the film.
While I wouldn’t rate it as highly as Abre los Ojos, this is a very different type of film and it succeeds just as well within its genre. It has already deservedly walked away with many awards, at the loss of old master Almodovar (whose awesome Mala Educacion is also well worth a watch) and will probably do the same at the Oscars. Who could blame them?