04 October 2007

6th Spanish Film Festival: La Vida Secreta De Las Palabras

I was pleasantly surprised that the movie "La Vida Secreta De Las Palabras" (The Secret Life Of Words) was in English. There was a few seconds of confusion when we came in the theater and I was reading Spanish subtitles (which I can't understand yet) instead of English.

Familiar faces in the movie are Tim Robbins, Julie Christie, Sarah Polley (Go) and Javier Camara (Hable Con Ella). Hannah (Polley), a solitary woman with a dark past, ends up working in an oil rig as a nurse for Josef (Robbins), a burn victim who has temporarily lost his sight due to an accident. They develop a strong bond and discover each other's bitter past. Josef is transferred to a hospital but Hannah disappears. He regains his eyesight but is haunted by the memory of Hannah and goes on a quest to see her again. He finds her in the factory where she used to work, talks to her and asks her to spend the rest of her life with him.

European films are unpredictable. There's always something mysterious about the movie. The synopsis never quite prepares you for what you're about to see. You expect the unexpected. The character developments are gradual. You discover each character individually and then what their purpose is to the story. There's also a reverberating silence that you're afraid to break, thinking that something might unravel that you're not prepared to see yet. The pace is not rushed and every scene is meant to be savored.

The same goes with this movie. Josef's first encounter with Hannah, how he teases her and makes light of his condition, how she never gives any clue of what she's really like.. Their succeeding meetings, slowly getting to know each other, discovering quirks, likes, opinions.. Then they begin to like each other.. Then each of them revealing their darkest secret that creates an invisible bond between them forever. I expected a sad and tragic ending but, unexpectedly, it had a happy ending.

My favorite scene before the movie ends..

Josef: I thought um, you and I, maybe we could go away somewhere. Together. One of these days. Today. Right now. Come with me.
Hannah: No, I don't think that's going to be possible.
Josef: Why not?
Hannah: Um, because I think that if we go away to someplace together, I'm afraid that, ah, one day, maybe not today, maybe, maybe not tomorrow either, but one day suddenly, I may begin to cry and cry so very much that nothing or nobody can stop me and the tears will fill the room and I won't be able to breathe and I will pull you down with me and we'll both drown.
Josef: I'll learn how to swim, Hanna. I swear, I'll learn how to swim.

The 6th Spanish Film Festival runs from 01-14 October 2007 at Greenbelt 3. For the movie schedules go to http://manila.cervantes.es

Orange Git at 12:44 PM



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