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Bitterness challenged by tenderness!
on September 27, 2005
Directed and written by Benito Zambrano, this 1999 Solas, which means alone, is an award winning Spanish film.
One important item to note, the picture of a woman and man about to kiss, on the DVD cover, doesn't in any way, reflect the movie content. This isn't a happy boy meets girl love story. It is about a young 30ish woman, bitter, an alcoholic and thief who lives in a poor side of town. And it is about her mother. Nowhere in the movie did this image appear.
The story opens when her dear elderly mother arrives from the village to be with her abusive, domineering husband who is recuperating in the hospital. Mother must stay in daughter Maria's apartment. We soon learn Maria's attitude differs greatly from her caring mother. Maria has a callous attitude about her father and isn't concerned about him. Little is known about the father and he speaks little while in the hospital. He is verbally abusive and carries the same bitterness that his daughter has.
Between the visits to the hospital and staying in the apartment building, the mother befriends an old lonely neighbor and his dog. The mother is honored by his kindness and respect, something her own husband never gave. She cares tenderly about the elderly man and he is overcome with her companionship.
Meanwhile, Maria's life is disappointing, hanging out at the bars, becomes pregnant, continues to smoke, and drink strong alcohol. Her boyfriend is a selfish, uncaring man who orders an abortion. With such a destructive life, we can't see a good home for the baby.
Then, soon, we get a glimpse of Maria's attitude changing toward her mother. Relationships and situations change, as does life. It is a saddened film where we can only hope for some good for some characters, and we dislike some others. ....This is an excellent drama.
Subtitles are clear to read. However, like most Spanish directed films, there remains foul language and an offensive scene that doesn't overshadow the great plot. ......MzRizz