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Something Spanish · 1 · 1101

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Something Spanish

  • The Meeting with the Goddess
  • ***
    • Posts: 345
on: March 29, 2018, 09:10:38 AM


Greatly anticipated this one after all the critical praise and best foreign language picture nomination. First two acts are a strong, solid build up, maintaining an aura of mystery where we're not certain of the story's direction yet are eager to follow its path, whereas the third act disappointingly crumbles into a pile of amateurish writing that left me feeling somewhat cheated. The direction led me to believe I was in for something profound only to be given a basic, simple resolution with questionable inferences.  Each act has an obvious transition and the final one did not agree with me much, mainly due to it all having been covered in the first act. The repetition simply weakened the whole. Not certain if that ending was supposed to be a sort of metaphorical comeuppance of Israeli politics, but either way, weather practical or allegorical, it was not effective for the film; more of a cheap shot.

The director deals with grief skillfully in the first part, then with equal skill depicts the experience of an Israeli soldier on patrol. If only he had a more fitting conclusion. There were some nice visual stuff: the film opens with soldiers notifying the parents of their son's death in the line of duty, and shortly after there is a good overhead tracking shot following the bereaved father walking around the house that lends the audience his feeling of dizziness and disorientation. The entire second act of patrol life felt very authentic, featuring a funny anecdote of swapping a holy heirloom for a nudy magazine and a spontaneous dance number. That dance number is revisited towards the end. It's called the Foxtrot, where all the steps the dancer takes always lead him to the same starting position, and I'd imagine it's supposed to stand as metaphor for Israel's governmental policies. Pretty clever, if only the film's manipulative third act didn't interfere.