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Thinking about the bars you confirm your own prison
However much men may need women and women may need men, I often think we live on different planets, and this has rarely been more powerfully stated (or even overstated) than in <Em Dic Sara> (Me Llamo Sara, 1999). Very much a product of the Catalonian director Dolors Payás, Sara represents many women today who find themselves trapped in the lives they themselves have constructed around them. Sara at 40 finds herself in the comfortable routine of a good job she likes, having a regular man she loves, and an adolescent daughter who is not so easy to handle. There is something missing, and frankly it is just simple sex, excitement, that is lacking, and at forty Sara is not too old for a jolly good adventure.
Sara, excellently played by Elvira Mínguez, who also had roles in La Buena Estrella (1997) (qv) and Lágrimas Negras (1998) (qv) where she was completely overshadowed by the tour de force displayed by Ariadna Gil, is well counterbalanced by Gina, her adolescent daughter, nicely carried out by Elena Castells. Indeed, it is almost as if Sara is bent on living a second adolescency, years after having been a single mother. The contrasts are clear: Gina´s problems include a young fellow who behaves obscenely on the phone, whereas Sara needs something more than the well-established love of her companion (François-Eric Gendron). After all, as Tina Turner used to sing `What's Love Got To Do With It?'
Evidently a film of a rather feminist cut, Payás carries out a recommendable piece of work, both in writing the script and directing the film. Mínguez and the young Elena Castells come up to the mark really well and the mother-daughter coupling is entirely convincing. However, Gendron and Chete Lera were given the rather despective task of being comfortable insipid males with a somewhat played-down protagonism. Apart from this the characteriology is well perceived and carried out, including among the secondary actresses.
Javier Navarrete's music accompanies well, using a couple of leit-motifs, but not overly, with one sounding like a fragment from Paganini's Capriccio Nº 24. There are certain other inspirations which are obviously from more Spanish or Catalonian origins, and on the whole tone in to the proceedings.
Elvira Mínguez is quoted as having said in an interview (my translation): << Men are afraid of women who have power. In the last century women have evolved very quickly and today men must face up to this complex question and assume a relationship of companionship. Every day more and more women are alone (lonely?) and this is very significant something is not working. It is a global problem and I hope one day we (men and women) will get to understand each other. >> This is especially the case in Spain today due to the rapid rate with which it has undergone enormous economic and social change in barely twenty five years.
The film was made in the Catalonian language, but as far as I know it only reached the rest of Spain in the dubbed version in Spanish.
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