Thursday, 10 February 2011


Everyone strives for beauty, but last night in a small Phoenix Picture House, I think I found a little slice of the ‘Buitiful’. As much as I hate it when critics rate a film with the old tag-line of, ‘One of the best films of the year’-mainly due to the fact that it is only February- I will put aside my distaste and say that this film really is something special.
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez and Hanaa Bouchaib, the film is inundated with talent, in essence exploring the protagonist, Uxbal’s (Bardem) inevitable plummet towards death at the hands of cancer. Whilst being a volatile subject to base a film, Biutiful does not fall into any of the generic categories that one would expect of those tackling the Big C, nor it does not take over the plot.

Taking care of his two small children, as their mother (a woman tormented by mental health- Álvarez), is incapable to do so, Uxbal battles through the dark, crime-fuelled pits of life in Barcelona trying to seek redemption for himself, and a life for his children.

Captivatingly shot by Rodrigo Prieto, the soft lit hand-held shots of the gorgeous Barcelonan cityscape and countryside were executed perfectly alongside moments of the disturbingly dark content of the film.

A remarkably riveting and harrowingly realistic film, Bardem and the rest of the cast jump straight into the gut and heart of the audience.

Even in the unforgiving city and in the midst of human plight, this film illuminates the beauty that can be found hidden beneath the rubble.

However clichéd it sounds, the film really deserves its title and is definitely worth a watch. 

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