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Juan Manuel López Baio,
Eliseo Subiela, the director of "Despabiltate Amor", his 1996 film, is a man with a great admiration to poetry, as clearly shown in his other films. Evidently, Mr. Subiela is an admirer of Mario Benedetti, one of the best, and less known, poets of South America. His poetry is music to Mr. Subiela's ears, as he fills his films with the rhythms and cadences in his movies.
"Despabilate Amor" is an account about how, in spite of the passage of time, most of us have stayed the same. We are taken to the meeting between Ernesto and Ricardo, who have been part of a group of teen agers that seemed to be inseparable. The one thing that kept them together was the rock music they played constantly. Ricardo has rinsed his hair with a shade of blond in order to appear younger. Ernesto, alas, has lost most of his hair.
Through the use of flashbacks we get to know the story about those early years. Ernesto loved the gorgeous Ana, the fair beauty who is now married to Ricardo. We get to know the thing that separate them was Ernesto's trip to Cuba where he went, attracted by an idealism and a promise that seems not to have panned out. It's been 25 years since Ernesto has seen Ana, but actually, when they meet again, there are no sparks flying between them; then again, Ana is his friend's wife.
Ernesto, waiting one day to meet Ana, meets the mysterious cello player emerging from the Colon theater. He is intrigued by this solemn looking woman and approaches her. She tells him he is Cuban and, in a way, shows a disillusion about her paradise island. It's evident that Vera, the cellist, is now living, and working in Buenos Aires. Ernesto realizes at the end that what he felt for Ana during his youth is just a memory and he must move on. That is when we watch him running to look for Vera, who represents the new reality.
Dario Grandinetti makes a great appearance as Ernesto. In a way, Ernesto seems to represent the Argentine male character. Mr. Grandinetti is one of the best collaborators of the director and gives an excellent performance. Juan Leyrado plays Ricardo, a man who seems to be a total optimist; he keeps young by dancing rock in the terrace of his apartment. Soledad Silveyra, a wonderful Argentine actress, is Ana, who upon learning about Ernesto's sudden reentry in her life wants to rekindle a love that has ceased to exist a long time ago. Marilyn Solaya portrays Vera, the cellist.
The film is easy on the eyes and gives us a lot to think about. Again, Eliseo Subiela shows he is a director with a knack for making the everyday things into poetry.
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