Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Based on a great review from Red a while ago and a great performance by Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, I decided to rent Mar Adentro (or The Sea Inside as it was titled in North America). When it first came out, I wasn't too keen on watching it. However, I'm so very glad that I did.

I'll freely admit that I'm an emotional blob. Heck, I've been known to cry at AT&T holiday commercials (you know the one...where the girl goes home at Christmas and doesn't get along with dad, takes her present in the car with her unwrapped, it starts wringing, it's dad...etc) and the Olympics. As for movies, you have to have the right circumstances for me to shed a tear and is one of the reasons I avoid the "chick flick". Let's just say that by the end of this film, I was a blubbering, sobbing ball of snot.

Here's the story in a nutshell ("help, help, I'm in a nutshell". Ok, I'll stop). Javier Bardem plays Ramon Sampedro, a quadripeligic for the past 28 years who's only wish in life is to end his own. With the help of his close friends and his extended family who cares for him, he enlists the aid of a lawyer to try and get the Spanish government to decriminalize euthenasia and allow him to finally end the hell he's been confined to for almost three decades.

At times the movie is a bit slow...let's face it, it's not an action film but the acting is beyond amazing. I simply could not find a single miscast character and usually there's always one that sticks out. Bardem is incredibly moving as Sampedro, a role that required him to move only his head (and even that only slightly), and to convey every emotion, thought and gesture with his face. Powerful. I'm at a loss as to what to say about Mar Adentro. It was so incredibly moving that it left me speechless. However let me leave you with this. After the movie finished, I went to describe it to the Admiral, my puffy eyes still red and glisteny from the tears I had just shed. I was trying to describe one of the final scenes (hopefully no huge spoilers), where Ramon heads back to the sea for the final time and is saying goodbye to his family. Even before I got three words out of my mouth, the image of Ramon's sister in law as he leaves and the thought of what was to come was too much for me. I started crying once again.

Easily one of the most powerful movies I've ever had the pleasure to watch and truly one of the best. It's no wonder it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in 2006. I'm surprised though that it seems neither Adam nor Shea have reviewed it yet...



Red said...

Glad to hear you loved it. Javier Bardem is truly astonishing in it... this is the film he should have got an Oscar for!

Isn't the woman who plays the lawyer the lead actor in The Orphanage? Have you seen that yet? Forget the hype about it being a horror film, though. It's most definitely not!

Gardenia said...

Oh, I want to see it - I want happier memories of Javier than "Old Country...." Not that this sounds happy, but it sounds brilliant...

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