Saturday, 24 October 2009

The Good Life (2008) @ La Buena Vida

Have you ever heard of the Chilean piledriver?
BoneTown Sex Game
At a glance:
From the director of Historias Del Futbol and La Fiebre Del Loco (as if I've seen them), this award-winnin 2008 Chilean drama is a tight, well-edited caper about Teresa the government social helper, Edmundo the hairdresser, Mario the clarinet player and an unnamed prostitute, who all share one thing in common - the cruelty of life in Santiago when the goin gets tough. Roberto Farías (tache, pic) gives the most vivid portrayal of a down-and-out thirtysomethin hairdresser who lives with his mum still and can't find the money to impress a girl, buy a car or finance his father's reburial. Meanwhile, Aline Küppenheim gives the standout performance as a torn woman who cannot reconcile her failure in bringin up her daughter well and keepin her husband happy with her job of sex education at the government help centre. However, the best explored of these is Eduardo Paxeco's turn as gifted clarinetist Mario, whose dreams of playin for the Philharmonic are constantly bein ruined by people who just didn't have the time for him.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Lackin a certain tenderness and a certain endurance.
Perennial wonderment:
Chile makes movies? Please recommend me some, if you know any.
Watch out for:
The other character in this movie - the most elusive and perhaps, purposefully unexamined. Appearin only a few times, we see a destitute prostitute facing all sorts of problems that nobody seems to be able to help her with. She represents all the untold stories that remain untold in a city like Santiago, contrasted against the three main characters in this movie who do get told.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Two and a half. Unlike similar Hollywood efforts like Crash, the stories in this movie are weaved into each other not by a didactic central theme but merely by the pivotal urban location in which it all takes place. The characters don't need to meet up in the end like a beautiful fairytale with strong social messages. They need only live out their story in the short duration of the movie convincingly and we get a peek into the fairly interestin private lives of these people.

Bonus material:
The good life. Really?