Bullfighting never was a sport I had an interest in, but I figured it would make for a compelling drama. If nothing else, this film is as real as it gets. There are a bunch of major sequences that pits the main character against raging beasts. These scenes aren't staged or faked with trick photography of any kind; the players seriously put their lives on the line to confront real bulls on screen. They come dangerously close to getting mauled and gored, as they gracefully maneuver and evade the animals. Perhaps most shocking of all is that the bulls themselves are hurt on-screen, often soaked in blood, and the camera lingers on their agony.
There is a basic narrative at work; it's generally the same formula that goes into movies like Gladiator or Rollerball, for these are all movies where some dude gets involved with a deadly sport and proves to be so good at it that he's pushed to the top. The Moment of Truth is a more original feature though, with characters that look and act quite realistic. The film boasts some intriguing parallels to the politics of the time, but even on its own, the plot is not bad. My only complaint is that it's pretty dry in between the more exciting scenes.
The film has a look and style that's at least halfway like a documentary. Photography tends to be rather pedestrian-looking, and there are a lot of distant shots. It looks quite gritty and real this way, but I think it also distances the viewer a bit, and I think the film could have been more effective if the camera could be closer to the action. Editing is pretty rough for this film as well. Acting and writing tends to be understated, and appears authentic that way. This production uses some very real-looking sets, props, costumes, and locales. There is no music score.
This film reveals a lot: it shows the valor, courage, and skill of bullfighters, but also the bloody brutality and mortal danger of it all. If you have the stomach for it, it is worth seeing at least once.
4/5 (Entertainment: Pretty Good | Story: Pretty Good | Film: Good)
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