A frustrating mid-career film from Inarritu, though I actually prefer its naturalist performances (Bardem's in particular) and visual feel (from Scorsese favourite Prieto) to Birdman's look at me theatrics. The problem is that the script, like the film's perpetual blue-black hues, is overwhelming and 30 mins too long, the three act set-up, confrontration and resolution trying to be as grim and miserable as possible.
Life’s full of misery and suffering, and death is a heavy price you pay to live. But love, memories, and empathy make it worth living. They also make your departure more difficult. Also on the problems illegal immigrants face to live a dignified life, and how kind people try to ensure they can help. The last and first scene is one of my favourites! It gives such closure to the movie by coming a full circle.
Seldom do I see a movie where every character feels like a genuine human being, with all their strengths and faults. They’re all trying to make it, trying to be good and do good, some less than others since some have heavier loads to carry. And eventually many things go horribly wrong, irrespective of our wants and aims. Yet there is beauty. That’s human existence in a nutshell.
An uncomfortably melancholic look into a man's gradual descent that Javier Bardem fills with a lot of humanity and beauty for a man in pain but full of heart. A few subplots centered on more secondary characters didn't feel relevant to Bardem's story and slowed the film down and would have been better without them.