The film is thoughtful and quiet to a fault. It takes the "A day in the life" approach and goes one step too far. It has scenes that are clever and lively, but the vast majority fall too far into the mundane to capture the imagination. The idea of the split scenes is a touch of genius and it utilized. But I wish it had been more fully explored and played with. The film left me wanting more adventurousness.
Rosales' Goya winning second film is a well told dual examination of two very different women at different points in their lives. One is a younger woman coming to terms with grief and survival, the other a woman trying to manage her own happiness while dealing with the needs of her three grown daughters. The split screen often used seems more gimmick than artistic at times but the pluses far outweigh the cons here.
Rosales works here in the tradition of filmmakers like Ozu and Haneke, whose rigorous cinematic styles are used to convey the full messiness of human experience. Instead of keeping us at a deliberate distance, which is far easier to do, here formal audacity and a slower pace draw us intensely close to the characters. Scenes at 0h50 and 1h50 will stay with me for a long, long time.
3.5. I liked the split frame the director chose to use. To me, it shows we are actually alone even when we are together with other people. We are alone in our sadness, in our memories, in our thoughts. Despite the works on psychology, communication, social sciences in general, we still lack healthy communication. Or that's the way we'll always be no matter what.
A 2 hour expose of life for 2 women who are tenuously connected but of no significance to each other. Apart from curious and at times annoying split-screen scenes the director sets out to keep the story, action and dialogue as simple and bland as possible presumably to mirror the banality of modern life. A tragic mid-film explosion offers brief respite but ultimately the director's intentions are fulfilled.
(2.5 stars) The unique splitscreen use of odd angles is very intriguing and works really well. I wish the filmmaker would have used it throughout the film. Sparing use of it weakens the rest of the scenes here. I really liked them and think the rest of the film could have really benefited from their use as well. The rest of the narrative is extremely slow paced. Could have used a better edit.
Split-screen is usually gimmicky on film but Rosales – a deft formal experimenter – makes great use of it in this moving, slow-burning drama. A poignant and perceptive window on the lives of two women and the pain and loss that lies within and beyond what we see onscreen.
GREAT EDITiNG & SPLIT SCREEN FRAMING . Nearly an hour to reach a terror blast where life collapses. From min 50 to min 51 exactly. Everyone will have his opinion on this unusual language of the casual. === Près d'une heure de cadrage & montage parfaits pour en arriver à 1 explosion terroriste ou tout bascule. De la 50ème à la 51ème min exactement. Chacun se fera son opinion sur ce langage inhabituel de l'habituel.
Neutral, conceptual. Rosales shoves life itself through the lense with little interference or side notes. Devoid of introspection, these fragments feel like people watching from the sidelines. But despite the drama it feels dull. The trick, this is not life itself but simply a reenactment. Drama is what you get when you switch the tv off and turn your head towards the window. Out there, drama, but this time it's real
It requires brave film-makers to create movies like this. And in the context of Spanish cinema, where you get "culebrones" like "Mortadelo y Filemón" y "Torrente: El brazo tonto de la ley" (1998), even more so. The film is "minimalist" but presents a terrifying visual "essay" of loneliness, the fragility of human relationships, and to some extent, of life itself (which could be gone or changed forever at any second).
I loved this film. Had no idea what to expect, and it totally surprised me. Intriguing camera work, split screens were initially a little disorientating but evolved into something that enhanced the moody melancholic tone - detached and yet paradoxically not. Demands quite a bit from the observer, always a good thing! A real gem, excited to see the others in the series.