Over several years, we follow three households and their emotions in a barrio of Havana. Magalis is a nurse, rarely happy. An older man, Ignacio, professes his love for her; her father and ...
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This Oscar nominated film is the story of two men who are opposites, one gay, the other straight, one a fierce communist, the other a fierce individualist, one suspicious, the other accepting, and how they come to love each other.
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea,
Juan Carlos Tabío
When his father dies, a Cuban man who was raised in the United States, learns that he was not abandoned by his mother but illegally taken out of Cuba. He goes back to the island and is ... See full summary »
Over several years, we follow three households and their emotions in a barrio of Havana. Magalis is a nurse, rarely happy. An older man, Ignacio, professes his love for her; her father and her brother quarrel over her brother's sexual orientation; she thinks about leaving Cuba. Santo's wife Maria is expecting their first child. Tragedy strikes and Santo leaves, drowning sorrows in alcohol and crime while his son grows up in the care of an aunt wondering where dad is. Vivian and Chino are in love, passionate, but childless. The pressures of a society that demands grandchildren strain their relationship. She tries prayer. Fathers embrace their children.Written by
This is an awful movie, on so many levels. Technically, it's simply inept; it is shot with little or no supplementary lighting, so the interior scenes appear muddy, with large areas of murky shadow. The colours generally are drab and washed out.
To call the script melodramatic is an understatement - any of these situations could have been transplanted from a low-budget soap. These filmmakers need to realise that getting the actors to cry a lot doesn't guarantee that the audience will, too. Embarrassed laughter was the main response at the showing I attended.
Finally, there is little that is uniquely Cuban about the the situations in this movie. Yes, it does show that life for the poor in Cuba is not wonderful, but it would have been better if the movie had explored more deeply *why* the situation of the characters is so desperate, and what it is about Cuba, its economy and its political situation that means that its people have to live that way.
I was looking forward to seeing this film, but I came away from it deeply disappointed; unfortunately, the good intentions which may have been behind it simply couldn't make up for an overwhelming lack of talent.
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