Monday, February 6, 2017

Julieta (2016) Spain

While in the grief, an unexpected slip away.

Drama, Romance.

Approximately 6-minute read.

     Honesty, I was not thinking to review this title. One thing I have learned in watching films is being patience. Nothing is good or bad until you watch the whole film to decide on it. The first act was cliche and intentional, but it was required, which I realised once the story entered the final stage. So I am writing a review now because of the impressive last 30 or so minutes. This is the tale of a person who is desperate to find her beloved one who ran-away years ago. Except the opening few minutes, the flashback takes over in the mid act and the original timeline returns to finish it off the rest of the narration.

     From the director of 'The Skin I Live in'. A good comeback after his previous flick did not deliver, but this is not his best work. Surely I would have watched it for him, but another factor was Adriana Ugarte. She was good, though I did not like her hair in the initial parts. But that was the part of the story to tell how people change in their lives. This film covers a long period of story, so there's a transformation in all the character appearances including hers. What I did not like the most was the cast changeover, particularly for the title role. It was not about from a kid to adult, but a middle aged to an aged Julieta. The funny part was a towel takes the honour for that magic trick. A simple make-up would have done a great job, instead dual casting. Other than that I liked the film, I think it was decent overall.

     Ready to leave for the Postugal to begin a new life, Julieta encounters a childhood friend of her daughter's. After exchanging a few dialogues with her, she decides to abort her plan and makes a new goal. As we the audience have no clue, the narration takes us to the prior events revealing Julieta's path of life. When she first met her husband at a train journey and then having a baby, the film focused normal family affairs. The real twist comes when a small dispute that changes the life forever for the people around her. But she was the one most hurt from it for over a decade, and still paying for it. By the time you come to know the reason, the film will be almost at its end stage.

 I have nothing left. Only you exist. Your absence fills my entire life and destroys it. 

     The middle section story was good, but it was just an addition to develop the main plot. The mother's sentiment is what caught my attention. Being a mother or those who love their mothers, will be heartbroken and touched by the film. That was the film's strength, but it took long time to come into play or make us realise. Another advantage is it was not an overwhelming melodrama, but still the majority of family audience will like it. All the supporting characters were very good. But no one stayed for a very long, even the Julieta as I mention earlier, the cast switching happened. So overall it was a fine shared performance by them. The film ended nicely, as what the story deserved.

     I like this kind of long period narration in a small runtime. Its key to show correctly every event, according to its timeline and they did their best. Actually, it was based on the three short stories from a book. For the film adaptation, it was well written and directed from the notorious Spanish filmmaker. Looks from the pre-production to production and post-production, all the department was well handled. This film was sent to represent the Spain at the 2017 Oscars, but failed to make into the final five. That was a bit surprise alongside another strong contender from France, 'Elle'.

     On the brighter side, it made into the British Academy Awards for the non-English language film category. In the meantime, watch this fine drama about the life and choices we make. Nobody is perfect, and nobody makes the right choices all the time. But some choices, even a small mistake on that can turn a decent life into hell. After all, our life involves many people around us we love. Their presence is what makes our life shine. Especially a mother for her child, no needs an explanation. Regarding BAFTA, some of you might be reading this review after the award ceremony ended. Whatever the result was, the film is surely worth a watch. If you understand it properly, you will like it more. Particularly if you an emotional person when it comes to family and relationships.

Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All

Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent

Similar movies:
What Maisie Knew, Philomena, Toni Erdmann, Like Dandelion Dust, Pieces of April.

External link(s):

WCA geolocation:
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