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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Bardem is masterfully playing Uxbal and with him we slowly and painfully descend into Hades, human misery and his personal hell. The complex character of Uxbal is central for the film and through his journey we meet some of the most unusual characters, places and situations. There is an action/high energy scene of police chasing drug dealers in center of Barcelona, remarkably filmed by the very talented Rodrigo Prieto; it will stay with me for a long time.
Many call BIUTIFUL "a love story between a father and his children", but it is much much more than that. Maybe this line will sell a few extra tickets, but it is more about a extremely dysfunctional modern "accidental" family. The mother, Marambra is superbly played by newcomer Maricel Álvarez, and the children are ever so patient, innocent and understanding.
Kindness, hope, goodwill and humanity is not missing in Biutiful, it is ever-present in the daily dealings of Uxbal who's psyche we enter from the very beautiful and poetic beginning of the film.
See BIUTIFUL with an open heart and mind, let yourself go places you never wanted to go, places you only watch on the evening news.
My tag line for BIUTIFUL: "You don't choose your family. We all belong to somebody, but to belong to Uxbal and Marambra, is both a blessing and a curse."
Most European directors take much longer to develop character in films than American directors. There are scenes in this film that wordlessly drag on, with panning shots that are longer than what American film directors recommend. But there is nothing wrong with that. This just means it takes longer to watch a European movie and this artpiece is no different.
Uxbal (Javier Bardem) plays the middleman for a counterfeit operation in Barcelona. He works for a few crooked Chinese who manipulate Africans and Chinese who come into the country illegally to work for pennies a day. Uxbal takes his share of the money but he also has a soft heart for the people who live in dark, musty cold basements.
His wife is a drug-dependent, bi-polar prostitute who only thinks about the next trick. Her goal in life is to have fun, despite her two children that love her very much. Unfortunately, Uxbal lovers her, too, and this uneven chemistry gleams throughout this movie.
We learn right away there is something wrong with Uxbal. He is in the late stages of prostate cancer, and his life is flashing him by throughout this movie. He lives what time he has left to redeem himself among the people he also took advantage of earlier, realizing there are many victims left behind doing the work that he does.
Shot in and around Barcelona's slums, there's a lot of touching cinematography in this movie. Smoggy city panoramas, gushing ocean waves, whispering cold mountain pines and loud street scenes that want to take over your auditory nerves. Take all that out and you have a more American-style movie with action and romp but less story and plot.Read more ›
Innaritu has always casted great actors for his films, such as Gael Garcia in Babel & Amores Perros, Sean Penn & Benicio Del Toro in 21 Grams and Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett & Rinko Kikuchi in Babel. Here, there has been much praise for Javier Bardem's potrayal of the low-life criminal, trying to make ends meet for his family, and nearing his death very soon, and it is all very well deserved. Javier Bardem is a remarkable actor, portraying his characters with simplicity, yet with layers of complexity.
*Might contain spoilers below*
The most interesting characteristic of his films, is the use of regional languages & characters to a very natural degree. Cheng Tai Shen, playing the role of the Chinese syndicate businessman, uses spanish and chinese with much fluency and ease, which I found remarkable. Just as captivating is the role played by Diaryatou Daff, of an african immigrant woman, who is caught in the disturbance of her husband's involvement in the underground drug racket, and his deportation.
The journey for Uxbal (Bardem) is devastating, and tragic, yet fulfilling in a way, since his transition into the afterlife is shown to be one of serene, his departure from his family implying painful repercussions, nonetheless, which is what the viewer is left to come to terms with, in the end.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A film like you have never seen Original plot, characters introduced in an uncharacteristic way. A meditation on death. Expose on the plight of immigrants. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Lita Aeder
This movie will get to you. Unforgettable. Javier is brilliant!Published 3 months ago by Agilebrainz
This was one of the most emotional, gut-wrenching movies I've ever seen. So many universal themes to this story that has so many sub-stories within it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by PJL