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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mar Adentro - The Sea Within (2004)

A film about a man who narrowly escaped death but survived to be a talking vegetable could’ve moved the audience to pieces. As toneless as the film may be, the quadriplegic is one of the many people in the film, whom we don’t care about let alone empathizing with. He’s treated neither as a survivor or a sufferer. After hiring a hypersensitive lawyer, he hopes to be killed, mercifully. Just as you’re expecting the case to start, the lawyer ends up as a quadriplegic herself. They’re both lust for each other but sadly they can’t have sex. So, they talk about it, visualizing it with their eyes closed. The guy can’t feel a thing, which includes his penis yet he manages to two-time and has multiple (visual) sex partners. Those in the film that aren’t disabled fight with each other, over shaving and bathing him. The acting is terrible except for that of Javier Bardem who does what he can to give the film, well, something; although, his inanimate presence (mostly with a pencil in his mouth) isn’t something you can sit through for two hours. Every scene without him isn’t worth watching and every scene with him is repetitive. A priest comes to convince him that life is worth it and guess what? He’s a quadriplegic too. If there’s anyone you can empathize with, it’s the cameraman who makes it a point to move the camera in every scene. There’re about half as many wheelchairs as people and they’re more interesting to observe. The screenplay is a recorded debate on euthanasia, which reaches a ‘living is a right, not an obligation’ verdict. Two hours of babble to get to this? You won’t get past the first hour. I wholeheartedly agree with the message. This quadriplegic film should’ve gone where it deserved to be- in the waste basket.

Rating- 3/10


  1. Sounds really bad,
    I don't usually like films dealing with disabled people anyway, even the most acclaimed ones, but this one just sounds terrible...

    excellent review!


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