Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky has normal values, Cristina pursues the alternative lifestyle and Barcelona is the place that offers the opportunity to remain exactly the same.

"[Cristina's] contempt for normal values is boring and cliche," Vicky's husband says. But it is he who is boring, talking trivially over the beautiful Spanish guitar.

It's ironic that Woody Allen uses a narrator who just sounds like he is saying: "Blah blah blah." I mean, why was it necessary for him to narrate that they walked around taking photographs, when it is clearly depicted by the scene? The use of narration was over-bearing and might have been the things keeping me from truly enjoying the film.

It's ambivalent what the moral is supposed to be. I'm tempted to say "whatever works" because it's a line from not just this movie but a couple of Woody Allen's others. But what is working in this movie? Does it mean whatever is working in this particular moment? Ignoring the inevitable ruin that is being driven towards? Because none of the relationships that arose were really working or could have worked for a prolonged period. And so everyone just goes back to status quo. Maybe that is what works. Some people live according to social structures, some pursue romantic passion and others are chronically dissatisfied no matter what they try.

"We are alive," Javier Bardem says, which seems to be the only common bond. Life is too short to worry about how other people choose to pursue happiness. It is too fraught with pain and the fear of death. This moment is the one in which we live. And yet most of us are too scared to be alive in that moment.

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