Benjamin Maio Mackay
Truman - 4.5 Stars
This exquisite Spanish Film is the centrepiece of the Spanish Film Festival 2016, which is on at Palace Nova Cinemas from May 4 - 22.
Julián receives the unexpected visit of his friend Tomás, who lives in Canada. The two friends, along with Truman, the former's loyal dog, will share emotional and surprising moments during four intense days, caused by Julián's complicated situation.
This movie could’ve easily been boring and overacted. However, Ricardo Darín and Javier Cámara bring a level of subtlety to the film that makes it a truly subliminal watch. Dealing with death in movies can be a get out of jail free card for films that “want to make an impact.” This is not the case with Truman, while it is powerful, it doesn’t use shocking dialogue or overacted performances to drive home its message. What is most interesting about this film is that very little happens plot wise, it’s more about the emotional impact and how people deal with someone who is dying.
Spanish films have always demonstrated a way of performing with a level of subtlety that isn’t seen in many other international films. It is unique level of realism that judging by the audience at the end clearly resonated with many. Writers Tomàs Aragay and Cesc Gay have created a realistic scenario that will resonate with anyone who has dealt with death. While the plot doesn’t advance that much how the characters are constructed is brilliant and the movie offers a lesson in psychology.
The cinematography is brilliant, as is the music and director Cesc Gay has brought the film together in a superb way.
While many find foreign language films challenging to watch I do encourage everybody to try and enjoy international films more - each country has a very different style of film making and this variation is always interesting to observe. Overall this is a great example of a Spanish Film and Truman’s outstanding characters, performances and direction are certainly something to marvel at.
The Spanish Film Festival is on at Palace Nova from May 4 to 22.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas and KM PR