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Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Modesto De Souza,
A friend of mine is reading "Doña Bárbara", that masterpiece by the Venezuelan writer Rómulo Gallegos and all of a sudden he said "Let's see if the movie made by María Félix from this book in 1943 can be seen on You Tube!!", and right there it was!! Since its protagonist was La Doña, that mythical Mexican beauty from the forties and fifties called María Félix, we didn't think twice, seated down and watched it --well..., we STARTED to watch it...
Wow! what a terrible disappointment!! From the very beginning they distorted the story because young Bárbara was raped by these outlaws being fifteen years old (from here on Bárbara starts hating men --not that anyone could blame her after all) and begins planning her revenge, but by 1943 María Félix was far past her teen years (Thirty, and quite grown up Thirty they were...). And then the acting... overblown dialogs, totally out of place to represent low lives and primitive country people, spoken in an excellent, cultivated Spanish with an emphasis and pomposity only tolerated on a very large auditorium when reciting Shakespeare or when, years ago, children used to represent a short play at the end of the school year, thinking they were rivaling Hollywood stars... without the need for microphones.
The film is SO BAD that we spent only the time to watch only one and a half episodes (it's shown in 14 episodes) but that was more than enough to figure out what was in store for us if we continue to watch this movie, so we said in unison "Forget it!!" and stopped right there the intolerable torture.
Nobody will doubt María Félix beauty (truly AWESOME), but one can certainly doubt about her acting abilities, since she played only herself, the legendary "La Doña" in the Movie Magazines of all Latin America, constantly self conscious about her drop dead looks and as a matter of fact that was the reason for her fantastic success in the business at the time: A truly perfect face with only one expression for everything: Joy, Anger, Sadness, whatever!! her success was the Greta Garbo success with the difference that Garbo could act. Her face was the face of the Sphinx, chiseled in porphyry, perfect for an enamored camera that followed her almost always in constant close ups and from every angle --she could have been the best model in the world for Haute Couture pictures in the glossy expensive fashion magazines of the time, but to convey the story of a simple country girl in a movie... no siree!!
Do not waste your time with this bogey, unless you want to get oodles and oodles of María Félix close ups, just to gaze at her perfect looks (the copy in "You Tube" is excellent, sharpness of image and sound quality alike).
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