This is a modest marvel of grace and framing that unfolds with the patience of a cloud and is driven more by wonder than pure emotion. It doesn't have the exuberance of Francois Truffaut 's "Small Change." Instead, it's that movie's antonym, yet just as wondrous.
Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings
Aug 12, 2013This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The melodious flute score is an overture to this phenomenally shot film (much owes to the cinematographer Luis Cuadrado, who went blind during the shooting and would committed suicide in 1980) with profound imagery of Spain under the circumstances of Francisco Franco’s ebbing ruling regime.
Running against a succinct 95 minutes, the film introduces us a rural village in 1940s, after watching the horror-classic FRANKENSTEIN (1931), a seven-year-old girl Ana inexplicably gets possessed with the spirit of the monster in the film, slowly, her elder sister Isabel, and their parents, all realize their live will eternally changed by the unstoppable pace which their country is also experiencing.
The diegetic curve doesn’t limn an overbearing quantity of hubbub to foreground the family-related crisis, instead, it quietly and singularly takes its time to observe every tiny fluctuation of its executors’ mind of state, subtle and poetic, under the background of oil-painting-alike texture and sometimes tender amber aura, the magical influence of the film’s idyllic melancholia and psychological allusions can take your breath away if you can immerse yourself into the mise en scène.
Ana Torrent (3 years before her another gripping child performance RAISE RAVENS 1976, 9/10) is the attention-grabber among the cast, such a consuming delivery of a girl’s convoluted mind orbit around her daily encounters under the minimal and drab milieu, also emotionally tangible is the sibling relationship between her and Isabel, more obliquely but equally palpable hinted is the insular stalemate of the communication with and between their parents, the whole state of the family sets off a torpor which is both depressing and unbearable.
Ana is looking for her own monster to whom she can relate her feelings, what would be more thrilling and ironical than befriending some creature with a kind heart under the protection of a spine-chilling outfit, no matter it is a ghost or a spirit, the wounded fugitive is her salvation, but is suffocated by the cruel reality, and also creates a crevice between her and her father, the delusional imagination triggered by the poisonous mushroom is the last resort and we never know if there is a cure for her.
Victor Erice’s own career path is quite tortuous, over 40 years or so, the fact that only 3 feature films are made is a crystal clear testimony of an auteur’s abiding friction with the investors, comfortingly at least this film doesn’t fail him and will always be an incentive for aficionados to be indebted for his prowess and acknowledge his uncredited endeavor.… Full Review »
Apr 23, 2012This movie well displayed an existence of inner demon in children, I Barsoom Akhmen the third believe that this movie could've been better without the constant feeling of watching paint dry, The only part of the movie i found interesting was the credits, Challenge my opinion but i did not enjoy this movie one bit, If i had a time machine id go back to when i rented the movie on netflix and delete it from my instant queu. That's all i can say for now.… Full Review »