Biutiful (2010)

by waxnwings

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So as not to run the risk of completely wasting company time today, this is just a post to bring attention to a film which, for some reason or another, I’ve had in my head since about ten minutes into my forty-minute country-road bus ride this morning.

Keeping it simple, it’s a Mexican/Spanish film I would recommend. I found it in the World Cinema section of a ‘Video Ezy’ about a year ago whilst living in New South Wales, AU. It caught my attention for two main reasons.

First, and most immediately, my zealous translation of the film’s title Biutiful to ‘Beautiful’ momentarily alleviated a long-standing unilingual inadequacy I tend to harbour. Most likely germinated under my bilingual mother.This held up until I realised that ‘Biutiful’ wasn’t actually a translation of ‘beautiful’ in any language at all. It is taken from the incorrect spelling of ‘beautiful’ by the protagonist’s daughter. My inadequacy immediately returned, along with an addition of pretentious shame.

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Secondly, I recognised said protagonist immediately as “the bad guy from No Country For Old Men (2007)”, a film I didn’t like as much as the hype, but which introduced me to Javier Bardem as a man of epic villainous tone and demeanour; a commendable sociopath.

By looking at the box, he seemed clearly a bit less mental in this film. There were also children on the cover so I assumed there would be less murder (or nowadays I suppose that could also connote more murder). Anyway, I liked the box, and I really liked the film. I say you should always judge a book by it’s cover, just don’t get too arrogant and assume those expectations should be fulfilled.

Biutiful leaves you with that weird feeling at the end akin to that of Donnie Darko as the credits roll. You stare blankly at your viewing counterpart for the best part of a couple minutes or, if watching solo, immediately Google other people’s responses just to make sure you’re not the only person Googling other people’s responses. If in a larger group, you generally tend to shrug your shoulders, shake it off and make a round of recuperating tea.

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I’m not going to review or anything, just share something I enjoyed. You can look it up yourself if you fancy an arty foreign film, although you’ll probably have to buy or rent it as I wanted to watch it again recently but couldn’t find anything with English subs on stream or download.

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