Jul 2, 2011

Vicky Christina Barcelona, 2008

Vicky Christina Barcelona, 2008
Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johannson, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall

Stage: Home theatre, another viewing (seen before on the movie festival LIFFE)

Vicky Christina Barcelona in short: Sexually adventurous Cristina and her friend Vicky, who is bright but cautious, holiday in Barcelona where they meet the celebrated and wholly seductive painter, Juan Antonio. Vicky is not about to dive into a sexual adventure being committed to her forthcoming marriage. But Cristina is immediately captivated by Juan Antonio's free spirit and his romantic allure is enhanced when she hears the delicious details of his divorce from fellow artist, the tempestuous Maria Elena.

Preps: I am a huge fan of Allen's work, therefore I need to see this regardless of what it might do to me :)

Reality: One of the typical Allen's perspective is to go into a woman's soul, making ironic scenery and drive sarcasm out of the soul of the spectator. Which is truly why I love his movies. And somehow, I find it amusing that he can put Johannson into so many different roles, as I see her as his sexual muse.

This piece is set in the beautiful scenery in Barcelona. The place we absolutely agree on, everyone should go for the summer. So in this sense, a dream becomes reality and you get to see all the dirty details of one's summer in this city. The beginning seems quite undemanding to the viewer and the storyline is pretty simple. When Bardem gets his visio in the scope of the camera, this is the place where everything gets complicated and Allen gets his piece of the pie. The love triangle, where Johansson plays a giant role of a traditional woman, that strives to check out something completely out of her scope, at the end realizing it's not what she wants (oh, what a surprise there ;) - no fairies last a long time, right? ). It's amazing to see all the quarreling between an old couple, combining it with a newcoming love into a formation of a sort of triangle, after that receiving every bit of positive side of this for a while, then turning into a flashlight or a sparkle and fading away. In a sense, a lection on how things fade away even though they seem quite sparkled at the beginning and how we should cherish life when it's happening, not mourning when it's finished. That goes for special moments as well.

Nevertheless, Barcelona in this sense is a metaphore for an escape. I see it in some aspect as the famous phrase "what happens in Vegas.." in this sense, of course, what happens in Spain.. I could easily claim the movie to be anti commercial for Spain (or american women), however, I see a deeper point into making your soul cope with metaphores and giving them a chance to breathe in the real life. Marrying a guy, running right afterwards in a strange country you don't know, falling in love with someone else and forgetting about it when you return to real life? Or, on the other hand, falling in love into the same guy as your friend, coping with life with his ex in the same house, making love to both and then at the end of the day, living with yourself, if you were brought up with traditional values and despise the fact that you are this way? A pile of challenges, Allen in his own way, exposes to the viewer. The movie will lie down on your soul gently and will comfort you with the way things turn out. Nevertheless, I believe the ending to be too average for Allen and I don't like it. I just don't see life as rosy as it turns out for the two ladies. And if it does stay in Spain, it for sure also stays in the mind and soul.

My personal rate: 7,0 (a fine, loveable piece I enjoy watching all over again.)

Barcelona on IMDB

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