In the post Spanish civil war years, Catalan kids would sit in circles among the ruins and tell stories, known as "aventis" (the film's original title in Catalan, its original language). ... See full summary »
In the post Spanish civil war years, Catalan kids would sit in circles among the ruins and tell stories, known as "aventis" (the film's original title in Catalan, its original language). These tales mix war stories, local gossip, comic book characters, fantasy and real events. The "aventis" told in this film are told in flashback. In the mid 80s, 45 or so years after the age of the "aventis," a doctor and a nurse-nun (who grew up together, and now are co-workers in a hospital) identify the corpse of one of the main characters of the "aventis" of their childhood and adolescence. Besides the interesting flashbacks - a chronical of the Civil War in a "typical" Barcelona microcosm itself, the discovery of this body (belonging to someone long presumed dead) leads to other surprises and unresolved doubts, several decades later. Written by
The director of this film, Vicente Aranda, would have been better off engaging someone else to work on the adaptation of Juan Marse's novel. The film is a mishmash of ideas, with a heavy leaning toward the director's leftist convictions. These heavily political situations play better in Spain than abroad. This is why some of Spanish films fail to reach an wide audience when they decide to concentrate on conflicts that are only interesting to a limited public. It would have been another story if the film would have treated the Marse novel with another slant instead of the heavy treatment it received by Aranda.
Mr. Aranda decided to pair together Victoria Abril and Jorge Sanz, who he will cast on a later film, "Amantes". It's notorious that when a Spanish director runs out of ideas, he will immediately revert to show explicit sex, as a way to make the viewer think he is so ahead of the times by showing raw sex, as a way of being cool. The mess he made of the film, which thankfully we saw on a borrowed DVD, shows a film without any merits. Totally wasted are Antonio Bandera and Juan Diego Botto. Jorge Sanz, is the big enigma of the Spanish cinema and Victoria Abril triple role doesn't do anything for her or for the viewer, who feels lost in trying to make sense of this mess.
Avoid "Aventis" at all costs.
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