Sunday, December 12, 2010

THE SEA INSIDE (Spanish) (2004)

A tetraplegic patient lying on a bed, listening Wagner on record. Suddenly we witness the slow movement of his paralytic hand; now like a miracle he’s on his both feet trying to walk. Then all of sudden he starts running and jumps out of the window to see the world outside, he's desperatly longing from long. Camera moves sweepingly towards the lush landscapes corresponding to Wagner’s symphony reaching high tones. He lands up at a beach to meet the woman he secretly starts loving on his bed after 27 years. The passionate kissing and hugging of two lovers on the beach slowly punctured when the Wagner record stop and with this ends the beautiful dream too!

It’s scene like this which makes the motion picture a visual experience like no other art form. Director Alejandro Amenabar without using any artistic gimmicks narrates the film so simply, so genuinely and so being human, it touches and invokes those sublime feelings to us- the audience. Here’s breathing human story of a man named Ramon, who wishes to end his 27 years suffering life on bed by Euthanasia. His public declaration and appeal to death puts him and his family in more embarrassing situation. There’re religion, government, judiciary and on personal front an older brother who always there to oppose his freedom to die. But this is just surface, the heart of the film lies in its sublime love story. Ramon’s close bonding with his lawyer and relationship with a frustrated woman who frequently visits his home is the soul of the film. I must say SLB has killed that most beautiful part of the original in his recently released poor remake ‘Guzaarish’ by shifting the bonding from lawyer to nurse. Watch the scene where sharing the cigarette, she lets him open up emotionally-‘Has any girl kissed you in past 27 years?” The bonding is natural and empathetic because she’s also experiencing the sea inside him.

Javier Bardem is an actor to watch here, see how just with facial expressions he wins your hearts. I must say he has a great range and he’s an actor who truly avoids conformity. Watching him in his Oscar winning ‘No Country for Old Man’ or Woody’s ‘Vicky Christina Barcelona’ are 360 degree different from what he has done in this film. Watch the hug he got from his symbolic unborn son to whom he dedicated his poem, his intimate moments with both women and his climactic expressions after consuming potassium cyanide. And not only Bardem but Belen Rueda too and almost all other supporting cast remain dedicated to their characters.

Amenabar, who along with writing the script and direction also brilliantly helmed the touching background score of the film surely deserves standing ovation. Though the subject of the film is about death, he not even in a single scene emotionally manipulate his audience. Infact the emotional tone is so well restrained and subtle, dialogues so contemplative and characters seems so lifelike contrary to the stuffed and emotionally manipulative one as in SLB’s poor remake ‘Guzaarish’. There’s no past or flashback of Ramon in the film except a momentary scene showing his suicidal dive into the sea and few snaps to reminisce about. Remember it’s a Spanish film, where one has to read the English subtitles to follow its meanings and still it touches the right chords of your heart compared to all messed up Indian version by Bhanshali. Original always remain unbeatable. So true. I can’t resist quoting the last floating words on the sea in the film.

“The sea inside, the sea inside
and in the weightlessness of the bottom
where dreams come true
two wills come together
to make a wish come true.
Your look and my look
like an echo repeating, without words
deeper and deeper
beyond everything through the blood and bones
but I always wake up
and I always wish I’d be dead
to stay with my mouth
entangled in your hair.”

Ratings- 9/10

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