Friday, August 6, 2010

The Sea Inside (2004)

#39 on my List is to see all of the Oscar winners for Best Foreign Film from 1980 till present. Yesterday I saw The Sea Inside (Mar adentro, 2004, Spain). 

The Sea Inside is the partly fictionalized, moving story of Ramón Sampedro, a writer, poet, inventor and quadriplegic who spent decades struggling for the right to die with dignity.

A subject that could have been potentially maudlin and is extremely controversial is treated with intelligence and delicacy. The film is spellbinding, gritty, devastatingly sad with breathtaking visuals.

The Sea Inside is filled with beautiful moments and one of my favorites is on a day, like all others, Ramón lies
on his bed looking outside his window, listening to the strains of Puccini (Nessun dorma); as the music begins to take hold, Ramón suddenly gets up from his bed, with the camera now looking out from his perspective, he runs to the window, jumps out and just before he's about to hit the ground he swoops up and soars with the music over the old green hills of Galicia - it is haunting, magical and sheer poetry.

I remain in awe of Javier Bardem, he gives a nuanced, layered, heart wrenching performance.

"Out to sea. Out to sea, and in the weightlessness of the deep where dreams come true, two souls unite to fulfill a single wish. Your gaze and mine, over and over like an echo, repeating silently: "Deeper, and deeper," beyond everything that is flesh and blood. But I always awaken and I always wish for death, my lips forever entangled in your hair." 

Ramón Sampedro

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