REVIEW: Biutiful

4 06 2011

Some people would call “Biutiful” a terribly depressing movie, but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate.  Sure, Javier Bardem’s Uxbal endures a great deal of pain and suffers immensely; however, in order for a movie to be depressing, it needs to make you feel depressed.  And as far as I’m concerned, it’s impossible to feel anything while watching “Biutiful”.

Alejando González Iñárritu’s film numbs more than just your butt with its two-and-a-half hour runtime (and manages to feel a lot longer); it numbs your soul with its bleakness and complete lack of sentimentality.  You’re much more likely to die of boredom while watching it than feel depressed.  I don’t have a problem with melancholy movies, but I want to be moved and filled with emotion.  By the time “Biutiful” was over, I found myself wondering if I had the ability to feel at all.

Iñárritu’s script is surely the kind that needs to make a massive appeal to pathos in order to make its grim plot watchable.  Uxbal is struck with terminal cancer, which is horrible even for people who are at peace with their life.  He isn’t.  Heavily involved in the Barcelona underworld with very unethical practices and struggling to be a father to his children and a husband to his bipolar wife, there’s a lot of unfinished business he has to attend to before he can buy the farm.

It’s a truly wrenching experience that only a sadist would undergo after reading this review; if you like dental surgery without novocaine, then this might be the best movie you’ll ever see!  It’s not even worth it to see another Oscar nominated performance by Javier Bardem – just go watch “No Country for Old Men” again.  An interminable movie about a man with a terminal illness makes for a brutal irony and an even more brutal watch.  D



5 responses

5 06 2011
Steven Flores

If it wasn’t for Javier Bardem, the movie wouldn’t have been as demanding to watch for me. I was frustrated by the film and at times, found myself bored.

I know Inarritu wants to talk about death but he really needs to simplify his ideas. Here, he goes way overboard a bit with its theme.

5 06 2011

Agreed – he has interesting stories to tell, but his unconventional ways of telling them often times simply don’t work.

5 06 2011
Sam Fragoso

Here’s a perfect example of a film that gets caught up in its own symbolism. Bardem was brilliant here – but the picture was certainly lacking.

Great review Marshall.

8 06 2011
David H. Schleicher

I don’t feel you could be further off the mark here.

I feel this was one of the best films from 2010. I could feebly try to synopsize my ocean of feelings and thoughts on the film…but I’ll just give you the link instead if you want to debate (or just browse the other side of the coin) –

8 06 2011
David H. Schleicher

Oh, been lovin’ your blog by the way (inspite of this misguided post – ha)

Will be adding you to my blogroll!

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