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Fernando Fernán Gómez,
José María Prada
Juan is an academic, his career stalled, teaching at the university because of his brother-in-law's prestige. María José is a socialite, married to wealth, bored but attached to her comforts. The two are lovers. On an isolated country road, their car strikes a cyclist; fearing exposure, they leave him to die. Distracted, Juan unjustly fails a student. Rafa, a bitter savant in their social circle, hints that he knows something, and he threatens to expose them to María José's husband, Miguel. Miguel's pride may be the lovers' best hope. Then Juan proposes a solution. Written by
on the Franco dictatorship, the class system of Spain in that era, and how people are in their own microcosm, and live in their own world until it is shattered by crime.
Maria Jose Castro (portrayed by the lovely Lucia Bose) is married to wealthy Miguel Castro (Otello Toso). It is a marriage of convenience, she has everything she wants materially, but nothing of love or emotion left in the marriage. She spends her days in a circle of bored friends, attending lunches, but wishing to be with her lover Juan Fernandez Soler (Alberto Closas).
The cinematography here is intriguing and sinister. Stark landscapes, cold winter, yet the people involved are comfortable and corrupt, drinking and dining.
Of course the character of Rafa Sandoval (played by Carlos Casaravilla) is excellent and elemental to a pivotal part of the story. He has seen the couple in their car on the highway, but just how much he has seen he will not divulge to Maria Jose. It is an ongoing teaser that we watch in suspense...we are not certain what each character will do.
Juan Fernandez, a professor of mathematics is merely existing, he resents his job which was acquired through his in-laws. He is tired of keeping up appearances.
There is a twist and you should watch this film more than once for the subtle nuances and character actors who play a part in the mood.
It begins with the death of a cyclist, but evolves into study of society, politics, and how people act out to endure their mortality, or the prison of their mortality. In the end it is their choice. 10/10.
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