Biutiful

If you love cinema, this is a must-see movie. Biutiful poster

Biutiful, beautiful, is Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s latest (you sure remember Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel). It is a masterpiece.

The story of a man in free fall, one man who must accept he’s dying and finish off what is uncompleted. Javier Bardem portrays one of a very few characters in the movie who is a positive force (the others are an African woman immigrant and a savvy woman who tells him the truth he doesn’t want to hear); positive but still doomed. Like his father (whom he never knew), who escaped Franco’s regime only to die of pneumonia in Mexico –Iñárritu is Mexican. The only ones who are possibly immune from doomsday are his two children, because Bardem builds their immunity.

The film is all but beautiful. Beauty is sucked out of he city of Barcelona, and all that remains is its underbelly ugliness with its slum dwellers, the Africans who sell on the streets the counterfeit merchandise made by sweatshop Chinese immigrants, all under the umbrella protection of local folks.

All are doomed. And this is the sad truth, period. Bardem’s character, the only who is not exposed to the immigration police has a fatal illness and an equally fatal upbringing. He is full of humanity, though, and this is the only hopeful motive in the film.

When watching it in awe (solid, strong sound accompanies solid dark images, strong, doomsday images), I was thinking that Biutiful is a knot in the stomach, a punch for which people are willing to spend money and time. Wonderful miracle of cinema, that reminded me of Buñuel, one of the few film directors who punches the very bourgeois public who watches his movies. Like Baudelaire: You hypocrite reader, my simile, my friend!

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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