Thursday, April 18, 2013

Film Review: Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (Review)
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

Javier Bardem plays Uxbal, a black marketeer struggles to support his children. Diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, Uxbal prepares for the worst and attempts to atone for his past. But, every well-intentioned choice he makes and every day that dreadfully passes, Uxbal can't change his fate in this haunting drama.

Biutiful is a chilling, heart-aching drama. A story of love, life, and redemption. Uxbal has an authentic struggle in his life that we can not only see, but we can feel. Living everyday, trying to stay strong and prepare the children he loves very much for his inevitable departure. The terminal disease dreadfully and vividly worsens throughout the film, creating a frightening experience - not a "jump up and scare you" experience, but a "why does this happen to people" experience or a "this can happen to me" experience. Much of the film will send chills down your spine and even make you feel uncomfortable. The film has adequate symbolism that will be perceived differently by different people - and I love this element in film; it allows the audience to discuss the film in an open way.

Javier Bardem magnificently plays Uxbal - a performance that works as a pillar for the film. From beginning to end, we witness his character slowly deteriorate as the disease takes toll; Javier Bardem delivers a range of genuine emotions from anger to happiness - and everything in between. Bardem's performance is complimented by Hanaa Bouchaib and Guillermo Estrella's performances - his children in the film. Maricel Álvarez also delivers a captivating performance as an abusive, bi-polar mother and ex-wife. The storytelling is smooth and easy-to-follow, the music is effective at setting the mood, and the cinematography is often stunning. Alejandro González Iñárritu's direction is also superb.

Biutiful is a chilling, haunting drama - it's difficult to get out of your head. It genuinely hurts to watch a film that blends authentic relationships and terminal illness, especially if you've similarly been affected. The painfully beautiful story, the superb performances, and the
technical flawlessness make this a must-watch film. Do not pass this up because it's too depressing, it only makes it that much more effective and unforgettable.

Score: 10/10

Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, drug use, and excessive nudity.

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