Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008)


Vicky Cristina Whatever

What a mess. So flawed, with such little substance, no narrative interest at all (as Woody used to give) and the total misreading/generalization of a city.

. the love triangles, with Bardem as the common vortex. This is neither in the comedy inclined, narrative exploitive sense Woody Allen used to give it back in Annie Hall days nor in the sexual tension exploitation of, say, Henry and June. He places cardboards and makes them swing around (badly chosen) sets, making them seem dorks with useless dialogs, which underline how such a story of dangerous love/sex balance could never happen with such superficial mundane people;

. the voice over: what an insult. Woody Allen was a truly sensitive filmmaker when he was at his best, he built narratives which invite the spectator to find out, make us part of the process, make us follow them, he would give us a peach, and let us peal it. How could he think we needed an annoying fellow literally retelling absolutely every useless action or obvious thought of every character. What was the point? Didn’t he trust his ability for visual narrative enough to let us find for ourselves?

. Barcelona, or whatever city he filmed in. I’m glad i watched this in Barcelona, because i could get out of the theatre and check that i had just saw a city woody wanted to place in the film, not the real thing. He was so good in embedding New York (Manhattan) in the fluids of his kind of narrative, his kind of story, his kind of character, that it truly disappointed me, more than anything else, that e failed so miserably here. Barcelona is not tuned to flamenco. The very definition of “Spanish city” may be something controversial (in fact, any real city is an unity on its own, that’s another discussion) but if any definition for that can be found, Barcelona will for sure be out of it. How could he place such an amount of ordinary touristic Spanish clichés into it? He even places a character who studies “Catalan identity”. Where was that? She is learning Spanish, not Catalan, and the life she took in the city (not the phony life with her phony husband, but the life she chose to have) is something she could have elsewhere, no need to be in Barcelona necessarily. Th prostitutes Johanson photographs are probably the closest thing we have to a real city in this film. Gaudi shows as a mere highlight of assumed clichés, he is shot so superficially as he is in any touristic selling film.

It’s a shame, it’s not good to see an intelligent, yet intuitive filmmaker fall to the pits of vulgarity like this. The only mildly interesting aspect i found here is how he neglects and opposes to the high-class futile chit-chat of American culture that once once the juice that flavoured all his dialogs, in his New York based work.

My opinion: 1/5

This comment on IMDb


2 Responses to “Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)”

  1. 1 Luis June 2, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Acho que te passou ao lado a profunda ironia do filme…

  2. 2 Luis June 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I’m sorry for that comment in Portuguese.
    I would say that all those “flaws” are in fact the core of the irony. I saw this film as a great critic of the “Catalonian national pride”. Every scene as an hidden meaning…I loved the film, it could only have been achieved by a foreigner with such a clear vision of reality…woody.

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