(GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS) Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture: Javier Bardem
Alejandro Amenábar
Starring: Javier Bardem, Belen Rueda, Lola Duenas, Mabel Rivera, Celso Bugallo
RunTime: 2 hrs 5 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films & Festive Films
Rating: NC-16 (Mature Themes)

Release Date: 6 January 2005 (Exclusively at Cathay Cineplex Orchard)

Synopsis :

Ramón has been paralysed in bed for thirty years, cared for by his family. His bedroom window is his only window to the world, overlooking the sea he so often sailed; that sea where he suffered the accident that curtailed his youth. Since then, his only wish has been to bring his life to a dignified end.

His world is turned upside down by the arrival of two women: Julia, the lawyer who supports him in his legal struggle to end his life as he sees fit, and Rosa, a woman from the village, who tries to convince him that life is worth living after all. Both women are overwhelmed by Ramón’s captivating personality, and are forced to question the principles which have governed their lives thus far.

Ramón knows that only the one who truly loves him will help him undertake his ultimate journey.

Movie Review:

The fame director of “The Others”, Alejando Amenabar, presents a movie based on the true-life account of Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic who wishes to end his life.

Instead of focusing on the legal battles that Ramon Sampedro had to go through in the process of seeking the legal prescription of euthanasia or moral debates on whether is it right or wrong to seek euthanasia, this film focus on the thoughts and love of Ramon Sampedro. Yes, ironically, a guy who seeks death could give so much love and beauty to this world and especially to the people around him.

Javier Bardem plays the role of Ramon Sampedro superbly. Throughout most parts of the film, he acted with only his facial expression and yet it was more than enough to capture the audience’s understanding and sympathies for the hardship, misery and joy that he had to undergo.

The fine film ensemble should not go unnoticed too. Notably were Mabel Rivera, Belén Rueda and Lola Dueñas, who each played the different women that shared a different part of Ramon Sampedro’s life. Without these ladies, many of the heart wrenching moments of the film would not have been that effective.

The cinematography and musical scores paint an enchanting dream that remind you of fine landscape paintings in a masterpiece. One of the many breathtaking moments in the cinematography was when Alejando Amenabar takes the audience out on a flight over the beautiful landscape beyond Ramon Sampedro’s courtyard and over the vast lands through Ramon’s dream of flight. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself considering taking up that trip to visit Galicia.

This film is touching and in one way or another, it will definitely affect you and your thoughts about life. Although you might not agree with Ramon Sampedro’s choice in life, you will understand his intentions and choices he made eventually.

This film might be not your crowd-pleaser and it touches on issues that most of us might not have experienced before. But I feel this is a meaningful film to catch and would recommend it to everyone to watch when it is out in the cinema.

This is only the fourth film from Alejando Amenabar and I believe he has created his first masterpiece. This film has been sent to the Academy Awards as an entry for the best foreign film from Spain and had already gathered Best director and Best Actor award during the recent European Film Awards. I hope it will win more awards and gather the recognition that it truly deserves. Kudos to Festive Films for bringing in yet another top-notch foreign film to Singapore!

Movie Rating: A

Review by Overider

  Publicity Stills of "The Sea Inside" (Courtesy from Festive Films)
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