A man gets trapped inside a telephone box. Onlookers unsuccessfully try to free him. Then the men from the telephone company arrive, but relief turns into puzzlement, then horror, as it transpires what they have in store for him. Written by
Donald Fisk <email@example.com>
From folks' analysis to Kafka's horror in half an hour
I'm shocked. Not only because I have just watched this wonderful and sick film. Also because almost all commentators are English. And they saw the film only once! I guess that's just because comments here have to be written in English.
So let me add my Spaniard's point of view: I don't see symbols of modern world alienation, "incommunication" or anything such. Not in the 1st part of the film, at least. And, yes, you don't need to understand Spanish to get it right (though it helps). But maybe you need to know Spain.
Let me talk about the 1st part of the film (until the truck takes the poor guy away). That's a depiction of a man that falls in the misfortune of having bad luck in public. So he becomes *automatically* the district's laughing stock. People gather around him amused but mostly not helping. They don't even call for help. What's worst, they discourage attempts of help (i.e., the big man) and sharply bash the one who tried helping and failed at it. And there is also the cynicism in random comments of viewers.
See the circus people, which are often regarded as freaks, different ones: they are the only ones not laughing.
All that would have been all the same in a small village. I don't think it's about the big city and it's alienation. And the phone booth is just the means to develop the story, but I don't think it's a symbol of lack of communication.
When the police show up (by chance) they come showing their manners and attitude. Which perfectly fits in, given the historical period in Spain. You might find such manners in public forces in many other places, but this is all too normal in places under of after a dictatorship (of course, not only Spain). But the image of people is so right "in place", their aggressive attitude and lack of solidarity ... I don't know if you English speakers get what I mean. Or maybe Spain is not so "different" after all?
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?