Keeva Stratton, Quip Creative
Directed By: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Starring: Javier Bardem
Set in beautiful Barcelona, the film tells the story of Uxbal, who acts as a symbol of the darker side to the city. As a single father, Uxbal must reconcile his love for his children and his feelings toward his own long-passed father, his criminal life, his humanity and the turmoil that comes from his relationship with his ex-wife. Much like the title of the film, Uxbal seems to represent what is, or can be, beautiful in an often very ugly world.
When Uxbal finds his own mortality at risk, he must address these imperfections quickly, in order to leave a life for his children, which retains some semblance of hope. The film tackles many incredibly difficult themes: from the use and abuse of illegal labour, drug use, mental illness, poverty and death. It is a complex film that uses a simple narrative to touch on the social breakdown ever-present in society\’s underbellyâ€”a world which capitalism has brought into existence, yet shuns and punishes with equal measure.
Sweatshops, drug deals, crooked cops, talking to the deadâ€”anywhere money can be made, it isâ€”and while we are horrified by what we see, the audience is also drawn to empathise with those unable to escape this reality, despite the horrors they themselves contribute to. It is dog-eat-dog without the biteâ€”a world of use and abuse that is understood and accepted by its disenfranchised and broken-down members.
Many became familiar with Inarritu\’s work thanks to Babel, and having seen Biutiful, no doubt many will look forward to much more. This is not an easy film to watchâ€”it will touch and haunt youâ€”but it is nonetheless a powerful example of how a talented director can deliver to you a slice of life in both a poignant and an incredibly moving way.
If you appreciate quality cinema, Biutiful is a truly fine example. It is long and slow-moving, but it is an experience piece that will leave you with much to contemplate about the sometimes jaded world we create for each other.
Biutiful is in cinemas from Thursday March 24.
Category: Film & TV