The twenty-sixth edition of the Malaga Festival kicks off, now without their last names (for a long time «Spanish cinema», briefly «cinema in Spanish») to offer an overview of the possible cinemas in the Spanish and Latin American scene, from comedies for all audiences with a commercial vocation to social dramas with forms experimental (the least). The contest kicked off on Friday, March 10, with the screening of someone to take care of meand continues today with the premieres of the Galician drama Matter and the romantic tragicomedy set in the same festival that concerns us, Tregua(s).
someone to take care of me (Elvira Lindo, Daniela Frejerman)
someone to take care of me presents three generations of actresses, daughter (Aura Garrido), mother (Emma Suárez) and grandmother (Magüi Mira), who see how their careers have developed in parallel to their lives, with ups and downs and instability, as befits the world of the artist. Between them flow reproaches and peculiar displays of affection, apparently contradictory loves and lives beyond the concerns of mere mortals.
The directorial debut of Elvira Lindo, accompanied by the veteran Daniel Féjerman, offers an uneven fresh look at the world of acting, fame and family. Too accommodating and with a cast that is sometimes too delighted to meet each other, it offers some interesting brushstrokes about the lives within the world of the artiste, but navigates a plot that fails to specify its intentions, although its script insists on verbalizing it. A production that is too flat is of little help, only waiting to capture the right gesture of its stupendous actresses who have shone more height on other occasions.
Matter (Alvaro Gago)
Ramona, a Galician woman played by María Vázquez, lives in a continuous state of unhappiness caused by an unbearable family situation and a precarious employment status.. In his routine there seems to be no way out, nothing and no one helps him escape from his continuous state of despair, and only a swerve into his existence will get him out of that loop.
Álvaro Gago’s debut is part of the group of well-intentioned social films with a strong character (A lot of candy for María Vázquez who comes out of the proposal well). However, the construction of the story is unfortunately full of too many commonplaces in what seems like a first draft of the script that would have needed to get rid of these ballasts. Too transparent in his intentions, Matter it seems to have put the rest into the composition of its protagonist, leaving the rest of the supporting cast to mere troupes without development (Ramona’s partner and friend as the main stumbling blocks). On the other hand, Gago’s staging is limited to following Ramona with a nervous camera that may well be reminiscent of the Dardennes’ cinema and her documentary spirit, but without reaching the complexity of Belgian cinema.
Tregua(s) (Mario Hernandez)
Tregua(s) proposes an ambitious portrait of a couple of lovers whose intermittent relationship marks a pause in their respective lives. The more than solvent Salva Reina and Bruna Cusí play a screenwriter and an actress, respectively, whose meeting within the framework of a film festival (Málaga) will make them reflect on their professions, their personal aspirations, coming to philosophize according to the night progresses and the effect of alcohol takes its toll.
The feature film debut of director and screenwriter Mario Hernández is certainly ambitious in its thematic intentions, as often happens in movies where dialogue and verbal confrontations are in the foreground. Reina y Cusí defends their characters with ease, although at certain moments they face the occasional forced line, and they give body and personality to two characters who gain in charisma as the minutes go by. Hernández is equally adept in the field of image by proposing imaginative visual solutions (the opening scene with a mirror as the protagonist, the use of long shots), which even so he fails to make Tregua(s) fall into thematic iterations that make your 90 minutes count at some point.