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Juan Manuel López Baio,
Great dialogue in a slice of Argentinian romantic drama.
This bitter-sweet film of the passing years and reminiscences of the happy days of growing up is carefully directed with great attention to detail. It takes place in Argentina under military rule, but this fact is not much mentioned apart from Grandma's remarks about communists who seduce but never marry. Twenty-five years can reek havoc to one's appearance and when the central characters decide to meet after this long time, they try to cover their baldness, greying hair and expanding waistline. Ricardo says the secret of eternal youth is rock and roll and he virtually rocks his way through life filled with enthusiasm and contentment with his wife Ana and son Sebastian. His friend Ernesto a writer and philosopher takes a serious view of life, and he dreams of his youth when he first met Ana and fell in love with her. These reminiscences are done in flashback using young actors with reasonable likeness to the adult characters, particularly young Ana who looks very much like the actor as the grown woman. When Ana and Ernesto plan to meet secretly over a coffee, we see some marvellous relaxed acting, never hurried, always believable as they rediscover each other after 25 years apart. The conversations are brilliant and there is no hint of sentimentality although at times the characters come close to tears when they consider what might have been. Ernesto finally finds sympathy in the arms of Vera who plays haunting melodies on her magnificent cello. Vera has a commanding presence somewhat mysterious but totally compelling, whereas Ana has that frank, innocent, bubbly "girl next door" look about her. All characters are well-defined and believable. It's an interesting slice of Argentinian life with food for thought in much of the dialogue.
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