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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Comparison of three Spanish films – Spanish Film Review Essay

Comparison of three Spanish films – “Flowers from another world,” “Hi, are you alone?” and “Take my eyes”

Portrayal of women in today’s contemporary society is one of the main issues given light in Spanish films. Regardless if these are positive or negative, the role that women play in the society is very important for Spanish filmmakers such as Iciar Bollain. A renowned writer, director and actress, Iciar Bollain has already created a number of Spanish films which talk about societal issues and these include “Flowers from another world,” “Hi, are you alone?” and “Take my eyes.” This paper will compare the three films in terms of how they depict women’s affairs and behaviors in the Spanish society.

In “Flowers from another world,” the story revolves around Spanish women moving out of their rural society hoping to find someone wealthy to marry. This is normal for women who are living in rural areas, because they want to get out of their poor lives. But in the story, the tension begins when the women protagonist get married to their male companions who have deeper secrets – a drug addict, a drunkard and an abuser. The women try to find ways on how to escape their undesirable fate, while trying to save their children, as well. This film shows how women could be changed into objects of desire because of extreme poverty, but it also depicts how they could become stronger for the sake of their family, most especially their children.

Just like “Flowers from another world,” “Take my Eyes” also portrays women in a more complicated side of life. The film talks about the complex married life Pilar and Antonio. The main theme of this movie is domestic violence and although the story is slow-moving, the intense exchange of conversation and acting of Pilar and Antonio makes audience more involved in the drama of their married life. The turning point of the movie, however, is not when Pilar realized that she should leave Antonio, but when Antonio changed his life to win Pilar back in his life. Apparently, it was just Antonio’s way of getting Pilar back as the object of his sexual desires and violent tendencies; we also learned that Pilar loves Antonio so much that she eventually submitted into Antonio’s erratic behavior. This is an unusual story of domestic violence, but the way a woman is portrayed in the film shows the different fates women usually suffer from the hands of their abusive husbands. But unlike “Flowers from Another World,” the protagonist in this film did not show any signs of empowerment or strength, because she just submitted to the desires of her husband even if it means hurting and busing her physically, emotionally and mentally.

Finally, “Hi, are you alone?” is more of a “feel-good” Spanish movie that revolves around the theme of friendship. The two women protagonists are young adolescents who are trying to explore the larger world around them in the hopes of finding their true mothers, since they are raised by their foster parents. As the story progresses, they find their male partners and even meet their parents, but they also lost them, because of some complicated turn of events. In the end, they become more matures and realized that their friendship has grown stronger and that there are some things in life that cannot be changed. Compared to the first two films we have discussed, “Hi, are you alone?” depicts the younger generation of Spanish women as stronger and more empowered. They never let problems get in their way and considered them more as life challenges and not as something that could hinder their capabilities to grow into responsible adults. Overall, this lighthearted drama film shows how responsible women can be even if there are complicated things that could jeopardize their dreams.

Works Cited

“Flowers from another world” Iciar Bollain. Film.
“Hi, are you alone?” Iciar Bollain. Film.

“Take my eyes” Iciar Bollain.  (2003). Film.

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