Spanish Film Festival – Hyderabad 2009

I came to know about the Spanish Film Festival through THE HINDU.I was excited and planned to watch every film but due to some reasons I missed couple of films. The films I could manage to watch were “13 Roses”, “Fermat’s Room”, “The Seven Billiards” and “The Oxford Murders”. As I being a big fan of ‘Pedro Almodovar ‘and ‘Guillermo del Toro’ I have good interest and respect for Spanish films.

13 Roses
Original title: Las 13 Rosas
13 Roses is a different film based on the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Civil Waris used as a background and basis for different Spanish films like Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and ‘The Devils Backbone’ etc… But ’13 Roses’ is a unique film which honestly deals with the Spanish Civil War. The film is about the 13 women who are arrested for being rebels of the Spanish Military Rule.

The first hour of the film is very good; the director shows the essence of a revolt within the younger generation, the different plans, meetings, love, investigations, interrogations, etc…. There are some very good moments in the later part of the film like the ones where the catholic guard sympathy with the women, the letter of a mother to her child saying that ‘She was always right’, A father eventually says that he loves his daughter etc..

I felt that most of the second half is slightly disconnected from the audience but in the end it’s a good film with honesty and dignity.

Fermat’s Room
Original title: La Habitación de Fermat
Fermat’s Room is one the best thriller’s I have seen in the recent past. The film is about four mathematicians who are trapped in a room, the room shrinks with time and how they come out from the room.

The plot of the film looks simple to hear but the way in which the director takes the film forward is amazing. As the four mathematicians are trapped in the room which shrinks with time, to stop the room from shrinking is to solve the puzzles given to them by an anonymous person through the PDA. Most of the puzzles are familiar to us and the story gets more complicated as the film proceeds. Even though the director is confined to a single room for most part of the film he manages us to drag us to the edge of our seats, he makes us feel that we are in that room and encountering that situation and we get engaged in every frame of the film.

Fermat’s Room is filled with instant energy which does not allow the viewer to even relax for a second. There are few things which are left out in the film but Fermat’s Room is nothing less than a perfect thriller as it has best combination of suspense, thrill and energy.

The Seven Billiards
Original Title: Siete mesas de billar francés
When I heard the title of the film for the first time I expected it to be a sports film but eventually turn out to be film which I am unable to fit in any genre. Gracia Querejeta’s ‘The Seven Billiards’ is an excellent film for those who like watching films which come straight from the heart of a filmmaker.

‘The Seven Billiards’ is mainly about women and their lives. Angela played by Maribel Verdú has lost her father and at the same time she breaks up with her husband and then decides to re-open the ‘Billiards Parlour’ which was owned by her father. Charo played by Blanca Portillo used to live with Angela’s father and has some problems in her life which she can’t ignore them. For me ‘The Seven Billiards’ was a comedy film as almost every dialogue is filled with humor.

The characters of this film are perfect and we can hardly find these types of characters in any other film. The son of ‘Angela’ is a character which will be remembered for many days, the character is filled with humor, emotion and innocence. I could not stop laughing when he used to ask Charo ‘Did you kill him?’ .The scene in which ‘Charo’ and ‘Angela’ have dinner which was pre arranged by Angela’s father after his death on the occasion of Charo’s birthday is amazing. The One-Eyed Man character and his confrontation with the painter and almost every character in the film is filled with originality. The film can be seen as a melodramatic one as it combines all the elements of human emotion connecting it to every character.

If anyone does not laugh or even smile while watching this film I can confirm that even Nitrous oxide (Laughing Gas) cannot make them laugh.

The Oxford Murders

‘The Oxford Murders’ is a mystery film which deals with the sequence of murders. The film stars Elijah Wood, John Hurt and Leonor Watling. The film is directed by ‘Álex de la Iglesia’.

“There is nothing like Absolute Reality.”

Martin (Elijah Wood) is a student who wants Arthur Seldom (John Hurt) as his supervisor at the Oxford University and he stays in an old women’s house who is first murdered and the first one in the sequence of murders. Accidentally Arthur Seldom and Martin get involved in this murder mystery and continue to solve this mystery with the help of their mathematical knowledge as one murder is linked to the other with a mathematical symbol. The film sometimes takes itself so seriously that the audience gets disconnected with the plot and wants to jump to the next scene. Leonor Watling character provides some distraction and some relief. The best shot scene is the one which takes just before/after the murder where the camera continuously moves from one end to other and includes all the pivotal characters.

‘The Oxford Murders ‘ could have been a much better film but it loses itself in its plot and logic but finally makes a good impression on the audience.

“FAKE is Absolute Reality.”

The films which were screened were good and i enjoyed the Spanish Film Festival and eagerly waiting for the next year.

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