Customer Reviews: Solas
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  • Solas
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 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
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on September 4, 2003
"Solas" is -- hands down -- an outstanding film that paints a realistic portrait of some of the contemporary issues in Spanish culture. This version of the DVD, however, is totally worthless. For one, the presentation is a poorly mastered 4:3, with a large, distracting black bar running along one side of the screen. The sound is nothing special (2 channel), and it is impossible to turn off the subtitles, which is annoying if you speak Spanish and don't want to look at them. There are no extras beyond a few trailers. Overall, this DVD does not do this incredible film justice, especially when you factor in its relatively high cost. This is an unfortunate delivery system for a brilliant film.
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on June 4, 2013
As a Spanish student, I enjoy Spanish-language films (with subtitles, of course). I saw this movie in Spanish class and enjoyed it so much that I wanted my own copy. The three main characters, Maria, her mother, and the neighbor, are endearing and you can really connect with them. The mother is the central figure -- strong, stoic. Quiet but determined, she keeps reaching out to her prickly, hostile daughter. She makes friends with the elderly neighbor in his solitude. Her introduction of the neighbor to the daughter just before she returns to her country village changes the daughter's life.
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on January 2, 2007
Ana Fernandez played the role of a daughter who was embittered by unhappy relationships with her parents. Living alone in a city, she found herself unhappy and desperate. Trapped in poverty, excessive drinkings, a failing relationship, and employment difficulties, she grew indignant at everything around her. During one of her mother's brief visit, she saw how the love, care, and compassion towards others in her mother could be the source of emotional strength. The discovery allowed her to seek redemptions and find a path towards positive life.

The story-telling isn't perfect, nonetheless it is a realistic, emotionally rich, and highly satisfying movie with superb performances turned in by all the actors. It makes me want to learn more about the director Benito Zambrano, in particular his thoughts and comments on making this movie. Unfortunately this version of the DVD does not provide any extra material, I long for a version that does.
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on July 30, 2007
This is a somber and troubling film, about an angry, single woman in her 30s, whose mother comes to live with her while the older woman's husband recovers from surgery in a hospital. The mother is long-suffering and patient, rarely objecting to her daughter's bitter outbursts, rudeness, and drinking, while not yielding to her pessimism and anger. It is a collision of opposites until the daughter discovers that she is pregnant by an unsympathetic long-haul truck driver. A gray-haired widower with a German shepherd who lives in the same building completes the set of characters, and we wait with considerable patience as the resolution we yearn for eventually plays itself out and brings a measure of happiness for at least some of them. This is a thoughtful film, painful to watch at times, with fine performances, illustrating E. M. Forster's belief that people would be better off if they would only "connect."
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on August 18, 2009
I love this film. I saw it once and then bought it for both myself and my daughter because of the profound yet simple message of the life altering nature of being willing to be there for another human being. I know that when a woman is pregnant and considering abortion, that even ONE person supporting the woman to have the child, can make the difference between her aborting the child or keeping the child. This is been shown to be true, and my daughter has volunteered at a pregnancy center and shared this very truth with me. That is why I am so moved by this wonderful film about a damaged struggling woman, who grows from being with her loving supportive mother, and then benefits from having the neighbor come through for her in an unexpected way. It is heart warming.
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on May 25, 2008
This is a great foreign film! The characters are flawed yet strong and this film proves that just sometimes you get a second chance and can pick your family members. The main character has a troubled relationship with both parents but loves her mother in spite of what she sees as weakness. Her father is another story and in the end the main character gets to finally have a father figure that she and her mother both would have loved. I loved this film perhaps the most because I myself have learned over the years that what we're born into and what we would have picked are vastly different. The acting is strong and believable. I recommend this to everyone.
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on January 27, 2013
This is unusually fine written Spanish film. Anyone interested in foreign movies ought to check it out. There is no boring moment from the beginning to the end.
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on July 3, 2004
This was an exceptional movie. I saw it over six months ago and it still lingers in my mind. A wonderful tale of heartbreak and redemption, a story of creating the life you want--I would suggest this movie to anyone who likes foreign films.
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on January 1, 2015
Muy buena
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