Vicky Cristina Barcelona..2008
Written and Directed by Woody Allen
There is one scene in the movie where Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) tells what happened in the past few days to Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Vicky responds with “that’s a great story”. By the time you have reached this scene of the movie even you’ll be like “this IS an insanely amazing story”.
With the evolution of cinema over the years most of the critics and film technicians felt that more should be conveyed through the visual medium which ‘film’ is all about. However, the three time academy award winning Woody Allen seems to have a different opinion about that. Woody’s movies are something where people talk, talk, talk and keep talking from the very start till the end credits roll.
Does it seem like an entertaining idea? Yeppy Yes, it’s just splendid; if done the Woody way.
The story of this latest Woody A’s movie just goes from simple to breezy to pseudo to romantic and finally chaotic. And before you can decide what kind of movie it is, you would have finished watching it already and started loving it. The movie wheels out with Vicky and Cristina arriving at Barcelona to spend the summer. A narrative (by Christopher Evan) which goes on through out the movie tells us about Vicky and Cristina’s interests and their almost opposite views about love.
These are two girls who think they know what they want from a relationship only to realize that they don’t by the end of the movie. The film’s stronghold is without doubt the precise characterizations of each and every character. Whenever a new character enters the movie and doesn’t seem like he/she isn’t gonna have much of screen time or importance ends up having both of them in plenty.
Vicky and Cristina meet Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), an artist who had a very rough and violent relationship with his ex-wife who tried to kill him. Juan instantly asks the girls to travel with him to ‘Oviedo’ (an artistic Spanish town) and spend the weekend there with him. Cristina who thinks she wants a very artistic, open and adventurous relationship accepts the invite right away. However, Vicky who thinks a relationship should be mature and not spontaneous tries to turn down the offer, but, both the girls end up traveling to Oviedo with Juan.
The Oviedo episode curls and ends up with the wrong people in bed which confuses Vicky totally about what she wants from a man. One of my favorite scripts in recent times introduces Juan’s ex-wife Maria Elena played by the stubborn – angry – crazy Goddess – Penelope Cruz in a scene where Juan gets a phone call late in the night that Maria tried killing herself. Scared of what might happen to her if left alone Juan lets Maria to stay with him at his place which he had been sharing with Cristina for quite some time by then.
The mature or primitive or what most of the people might describe as ‘insane’ relationship shared by Juan, Maria and Cristina is the film’s weirdest or most intelligent part.
The film’s got a lot of other interesting characters which will make the review longer than what it already is.
So, I leave you with this one thought about the movie :
Rating – √√√√ – Extraordinary
The film had won the Golden Globe for Best motion picture – comedy / musical
Penelope Cruz had won almost every award including the ‘Oscar’ for Best supporting actress.