Antonio Albajara is a successful poet and teacher in the Berkeley University that returns to Gijón (Principality of Asturias, north to Spain). He travels there looking for everything that he left behind in his youth when he turned a well-known poet and writer in Mexico and USA, winning the Nobel prize with time. In Gijón he meets again with his past in Roxiu, an old friend (both played in the Sporting of Gijón's soccer team years ago) and Elena, his great-love of past times. Through his memory, his friends and Elena, Antonio starts an unforgettable journey by everyone. Written by
"You're the One" was a magnificent film by José Luis Garci, I was mesmerized by it. I started "Volver a empezar" with great expectations getting ready to enjoy it as much as the above mentioned but ended up terribly disappointed.
Maybe being one of this director earlier productions it wasn't yet the refined product he could create later on. The acting in general is quite wooden, save Agustín González, who, with sauciness and great panache gives credibility to his unctuous character.
One of the most emotional scenes, the one where Roxiu (José Bódalo) reads the medical information -I don't want to spoil the storyline- is completely botched by this actor, incapable with his limited acting range, to convey his shock at the revelation that should have overwhelmed him.
Elena, the old Albajara's flame (Encarna Paso) is tepid and most of the time expressionless, with a blank, vacant stare like that of a myopic person without glasses.
But these objections are nothing compared with the MUSIC..., from the very beginning the LOUDNESS and the REPETITION of two very beautiful pieces ("Pachelbel's Canon in D Major" and Gershwin's "Begin the Beguine") get a negative effect in every scene where they are used (and they are used to the bitter end with a vengeance).
I was surprised at the dismal location, Gijón, a sad, melancholic, gray, humid city, but then, maybe the sites were selected on purpose, to reflect the main character depressed mood.
I'm sure that Garci could remake this film nowadays and produce an authentic jewel, because this one, I'm afraid, is only bijouterie.
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