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Vicki Cristina Barcelona

Monday, October 27, 2008

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Written by Vasudha

If this looks like an average comedy, the kind where a bunch of totally different people get mixed up n nothing goes right, well it`s more than that. It`s comedy that still manages to stay within the limits of realism, and the characters seem like real people and not clowns who do stupid things just to make you laugh. It`s comedy that comes from within the characters, and flows easily with the storyline, as though Woody Allen just put the story together and the funny bits just evolved by themselves.

When I saw the high rating this movie had, I went to see it with just as high expectations. I made the mistake of expecting something absolutely hilarious. What I saw then was pretty disappointing until about 20 minutes into the movie when I started to appreciate the style. And then I noticed the subtle bits of humour here and there, and how it ran hand in hand with the story.

The characters, too, were really something. Each one had a different personality and Woody Allen really makes sure that they all stand out in their own ways. What makes it even more realistic is that you find you can actually relate to one or more characters. And of course, nothing can do justice to Penelope Cruz`s performance. She is absolutely in the moment, and the screen comes alive when she`s in it. You can actually notice the difference she she makes to the entire movie once her character is introduced. If you`re not a fan of Woody Allen, her performance in itself is a good reason to watch the movie. The film also does good justice to the setting, not just with scenic shots of Barcelona, but it actually makes you feel like the characters are there, and belong there, and that you are there too, watching it all happen.

Having said all that, there were a few minuses. One thing that kept bothering me was that, when so much of care and detail has gone into the whole movie, why couldn't they find someone better looking for the part of Juan Antonio? He is charming and quite a smooth talker, but it didn't make sense for 3 very beautiful women to be fighting tooth and nail over someone who looked like a sleep-deprived goldfish. There are also parts where the characters just go on overstating the point. Vicky does this a lot when she keeps saying the same thing again and again when you already got the point and have been waiting for what happens next for 5 minutes straight. There are times when you want to throw a handful of popcorn at her and say `OK! I get it! Move on!` On the whole, if you watch this movie expecting to fall off your seat laughing every other minute, you`re very likely to be disappointed. Just sit back and enjoy the experience of Barcelona, get to know the characters, and, well, you still wont be laughing hard, but you will find yourself smiling even after you leave the theatre.

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