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Of Love and Shadows
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Reviews & Ratings for
Of Love and Shadows More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

...The movie could have been...

Author: Allie
16 May 2002

The previous comment sounded to me like they weren't criticizing the movie. Sounded more like they were bashing the Country and the author...I found it was a good movie. I've seen better, but it's not at the bottom of my list, and neither is The House Of The Spirits. Of Love and Shadows is a book that explains in the background what was going on politically in Chile and it was a way to kind of get it out in the open - I don't know...create an awareness. I admit, it must be difficult to translate an amazing novel into a movie and have it come out the same. I find that Isabel Allende's books are absolutely fabulous!! She is a great story teller. And for this particular one, I also think you may need to have a bit more knowledge of what had happened in Chile to have a better understanding of what the story is about. The Movie - I enjoyed it...it deserves to be seen at least once, but...maybe..to get a better sense of what it's all about, it's best to read the book first! Maybe if this film was shot in Chile it would have been different using Chilean Actors that do an amazing job anyway. The movie may have been better. But I am glad that Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Connelly decided to be a part of this movie. Both are great actors that tried to give the movie feeling...

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Lovely Music and Photography

6/10
Author: B24 from Arizona
25 March 2006

But not much else. As a story, it is something of a docudrama -- part history and part love story. The historical part must be taken for granted, as the author maintains high credentials as a witness. The love story is just so-so, however -- predictable and depending for its attractiveness on a good deal of gratuitous nudity. We see here rather more of Antonio Banderas than is probably necessary. Ditto the Chilean army officer.

The main weakness of the film is that it is not presented in Spanish with English subtitles. To have Spanish-speaking actors mouthing English is extremely distracting, and to my mind unforgivable in view of the locale and the facts of its production. Jennifer could surely have been taught to fake a little Español with some artful dubbing later on.

Still, one has to appreciate the scenery and the score, played apparently by a full symphony orchestra somewhere in Bratislava or the like. As a travelogue it succeeds admirably, even if it is on the sunrise side of the Andes and not the other way round.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Dark tale of 1970's Chile

Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
13 August 2003

Irene (Jennifer Connelly) is a daughter of privilege in 1970's Chile. It is a time of government repression and citizens of Chile are turning up missing, never to be found. Working as a magazine writer, Irene meets photographer Francisco (Antonio Banderas). Francisco is a passionate young man with a dangerous secret: he is working for an underground movement investigating the government's actions. Although Irene is engaged to a man in the military, she falls in love with Francisco and joins him in his underground activities. Will they be able to expose the misdeeds of the government and remain alive?

This movie is based on a novel by Chilean-born author Isabel Allende. Her political views are to the left; yet, this film is not totally biased. Real events occured under Chilean leader Pinochet, who eventually was deposed. This movie, therefore, offers a glimpse into the horrific tortures and deaths at the hands of the Chilean government in the seventies. Not as exciting as it could be, the film nevertheless provides enough drama and pathos to touch the hearts of its viewers. Connelly and Banderas give fine performances that resonate. Recommended for fans of the two leads as well as those who admire films with a political agenda.

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A Serious Film that Nobody takes Serious!

Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
20 June 2004

The subject matter of this movie couldn't be anymore serious. This movie failed because the studio advertised this as a passionate movie between Antonio and Jennifer. The poster and box cover for the movie shows them engaged, half naked in the middle of an act of love. In the first 10 minutes of the movie, we see some kind of a foreplay situation between Jennifer and her cousin / lover. Then, the climax of the movie has nothing to do with the investigation they had been on. The movie peeks when both Antonio and Jennifer make love. While the one scene has been said to be the only good part of the movie, I must agree that the studios allowed the audience to believe that this movie was going to be packed with sex, sex, nudity, and more sex. You can't sell a box of cereal with a naked woman on the cover and then have the cereal filled with little marsh mellow religious figures of Christ and Saint Peter and Paul. Much like the cereal, the movie has its moments but fails to hold an audience because everybody is waiting for the sex scene. The movie tries to get serious but we are overwhelmed by the eye candy that is Jennifer and Antonio that we can't wait for the passion to take over.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great political movie..not so great love story

7/10
Author: roysid from India
23 May 2006

If you don't go by the poster of the movie(which portrayed it to be a passionate love story), you'd enjoy the movie.

I haven't read the novel and I was engrossed very quickly with what was shown in the movie. The year is 1973 and Chile has been taken over by military coup. An woman talks to Francesco(a phychiatrist) about the nightmares she is having after military has tortured her and her husband. Her voice breaks as she says "one after another..again and again" Irene (Connelly) belongs to the upper class, she is innocent, engaged to her cousin, a military captain since childhood. She also publishes a magazine. She employed Francesco(Banderas) who is now out of job as the photographer. Francesco and his family are totally against the human rights violation that occurs. His brother is a priest in church who tries to prevent things.

When the magazine crew went to interview Evangelina, a magical woman, military comes and interferes. Evangelina with superhuman strength picks up military commander Ramirez and throws him away. They left. Shortly after, Evangelina is taken by military and she has disappeared.

Irene and Francesco tried to find out where Evangelina is. In the process, their lives and others take a complete turn-oil. And expectedly they fall in love.

The scenes of military regime is very well depicted. The arrogance of their police, the fear among civilians are very real and touching. Of memorable scenes are Evangelina's friend in military who is torn between his job needs and the human ways.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bad Bad Bad acting!

4/10
Author: Glock22 from .
25 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You'd think that a rich subject such as a nation suffering under the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet would have inspired the film makers to do much more than this. But the film chose some of the worst angles to treat; a lady with magical powers, the discrimination against homosexuals and an unbelievable love story between the beautiful reporter and her asexual photographer. The characters are daft and uninteresting with some of the weirdest unexplained 180 degrees turns you could imagine. By the end of the film all the bad guys have turned into good ones and the evil just jumps out of nowhere at perfect moments to catch the goodies doing their deeds and wreak havoc on them!

The entire thing looked cheap, especially with the sound mixing that brings to mind those dubbed Mexican soup operas. As for the acting, well, you have to see to believe. The dumb lines were a perfect match for those exaggerated facial expressions and sudden outbursts that make you want to slap the actors senseless out of frustration. Special slapping is needed for Bandiras who put another one of his admirably bad performances in here.

If there is any reason to watch the film, it would be the magnificent Jennifer Connelly. She was lost in a sea of stupid lines and stupid actors around her but still she managed to salvage some of it with her excellent acting abilities and expressive face. Her heavenly beautiful breasts is exposed in a love making scene and a quick shot in the hospital while being revived. It is silly to watch a movie just because a gorgeous actress is nude in it, but this is the only thing worth watching in it. Come to think about it, even the makers knew this and put the lovemaking scene with much of Jenny's exposed body on the poster and DVD cover!

Very bad.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A disappointing follow up to a fine novel

2/10
Author: Grunge_Tutu from United States
21 May 2006

Having read the novel, I was curious to see how it would be made into a film. I had high hopes, because the book was extremely poignant and well-written. However, these hopes were dashed within the first five minutes of this truly awful movie.

Now, I'm a fan of both Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Connelly. I think they're great actors. However, Of Love and Shadows brought out the worst in both. The acting was hideous and essentially consisted of Jennifer Connelly using an awful accent while making bedroom eyes at Antionio Banderas, who did the same (but with a much better accent).

Aside from the terrible performances, the real flaw of this film was that it tried to incorporate too much of the book into too small a time frame. There is a good deal of fantastic material in the book, but there is simply too much to be done on screen. What seems to have happened is that the makes didn't exactly realize this and consequently tried to hold on to too many secondary characters and too many story lines. The result was less than satisfactory. I was entirely convinced that anyone who hadn't read the book before seeing the movie would have been completely lost.

In short, I seriously pity Isabel Allende for this horribly botched movie which is entirely unrepresentative of the excellent book she wrote. Do not watch this movie. Read the book.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful film & Subject matter

8/10
Author: David Ottow (dottow@hotmail.com) from San Francisco, California
23 March 2002

This was a great film!

Granted, the acting may not be tip-top and the casting may have its flaws, but I thought that this was a great film, and it's about time we have more films bring to life the atrocities that occurred in Chile. By acquiring more knowledge about the world around us, we can try to ensure that we don't repeat the same mistakes over and over.

I really thought the film was great!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A good movie

7/10
Author: diogo23 from Lisbon, Portugal
22 June 2002

Isabel Allende is not the greatest writer of all time, still she has a magic touch, of that there is no doubt..A woman that has fought all of her life, gives us the pleasure to enjoy her experience in this beautiful story (as are all of her stories), that brings together two great actors (Antonio and Jennifer), and almost makes us want to be part of it,despite the danger..these were the true heroes of our time, i think that's what she's really stating, by using simplicity as a way of being, a way of life, and showing us that it can also be beautiful.. A true love story.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Jenny, why did you get into this mess???

Author: Juan Martinez (martinez__juan@hotmail.com) from Buenos Aires, Argentina
17 June 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jennifer Conelly is not only beautiful, but a great actress. The problem is, she gets into appearing in bad films, with some exceptions. This is no exception. Filmed in my country, and based on one of my most terrible experiences as a reader, Isabel Allende's novel, this film is truly awful. The writing and direction is absolutely inept (if you don't believe me, see Doña Barbara, Kaplan's second film), the dubbing is atrocious, and the actors are miscast (and there's Banderas)and the overall film is a great piece of bad filmmaking. But at least it's not the worst film of all time, as House of the Spirits is, but it's still on my bottom 10. Oh, and the film is set in Chile, but in the scene were Jenny gets shot, you can see the "Obelisco", one of Buenos Aires' landmarks.

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