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The Year of Maria More at IMDbPro »Año Mariano (original title)

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fun and Funny!

Author: onedoubles from London, England
18 January 2004

I just have to say that this is one of my favorite spanish films. It is a little bit simple, but I REALLY think that it is damn funny. Don't expect to see an Oscar winner here, but do expect to see something pretty funny and good hearted and FUN!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

vamos a hacernos un porrito, hombre!

Author: depeche-4 from spain
29 September 2001

I saw this movie for the first time at the cinema, when it came out. I hated it absolutely. I thought it was the biggest crap I've ever seen. No humor, no laugh... no comedy. But now, a year after the first view of the movie I saw it again with some friends... and now I think that it is one of the best comedies I've ever seen. The humor gags are there... in the movie... but most of them are hidden. There are a lot of intelligent gags that are incredibly funny. So, if you have seen the movie and you don't like it, please, put the video tape again and watch each minute of the movie carefully, because the humor is there... and it's really very funny. In 3 words it is INTELLIGENT STUPID HUMOR, and if you are intelligent enough to get the gags you will laugh a lot... for a long time... Maybe at first you'll be disappointed... but the next viewing... is superb... I've past from giving it a 1 to giving it a 10. PERFECT

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Outlandish and ironic film about a salesman who sees appearances of the Virgin and becomes himself a false prophet

Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
19 December 2014

This disconcerting and overlong film deals with a traveling as well as drunken salesman called Mariano (Kara Elejalde) , he is driving when loses control and has a car accident on a clandestine camp of marijuana . Meanwhile , a squad of local Guardia Civil commanded by a Sergeant (Manuel Manquiña) sets the illicit plants afire . Then an intoxicated Mariano under the influence of the burning weed fancies that he has had a religious vision and has seen the Virgin Mary and decides to stay there . Along the way appears a religious parade led by a priest , a nun called "Sister Trini" (Gloria Muñoz) and her votaries , attracting the evangelical interest of the group , as they believe there took place a miracle when the Virgin sculpture cries blood when accidentally falls from a dove . Shortly after , the swindler Enrique Torres (Fernando Guillén Cuervo), salutes Mariano as a prophet , combining their forces to build a holy shrine at the seared site of his near immolation , therewith raising great sums of money . Mariano transforms himself into a prophet-like figure who is an instant success in the public . As two Spanish suspected felons soon find themselves in over their heads when they stumble upon an opportunity to get some rich opportunities . As Religion and show business prove to be a winning combination, something that con Enrique Torres capitalizes on .

This is a hilarious hallucinogenic comedy , with plenty of parody , surrealist events , extreme spoof and gross-out but also with some brief moments being bold and fun . The bizarre ironies here are funny , sad and sometimes shocking . This is a comical and sometimes embarrassing account of a series of "sightings" of the Virgin Mary and their aftermath from the personal, social , cultural, religious and economic perspective . The flick is realized in ¨Airbag¨ style , a successful Spanish film by Juanma Bajo Ulloa also written and starred by Fernando Guillen Cuervo and Kara Elejalde , full of quirk roles , amazing events , abundant craziness and strange situations ; but there was also a larger theological question about ¨people manipulation¨ . Spain, which was vulnerable to these types of worshipping , has seen its share of the offbeat , which is what the filmmaker felt is an assault on the viewing public and wanted to set his flick from the point of view of the two roguish and the people that are making a fortune out of the naive audience . The characters are all odd , grotesque and weird and the film races on at incredible speed . Anti-religious humor turns out to be sometimes cheesy and gross-out with numerous naughty and picaresque situations such as ridiculous jokes , bad taste , blasphemy and adult scenes . However , it also contains uneven comedy , piggy humor , profanity and grossed issues . It's possible that Christians or other religious people pick this up because the yarn has the word "Virgin Mary" in it, but that shows what the writers and filmmakers were attempting to do is to teach a possibility to people who maybe never saw the world like this, especially in the modern world where Christianity has been more and more accepted and sometimes forgotten . The picture deals with religious appearances and fake prophets , a theme usual in Spanish cinema such the classic ¨El Jueves Milagro¨ by Luis Garcia Berlanga , and recently ¨Visionarios¨(2001) by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon and ¨No Somos Nadie' (2002) by Jordi Molla . ¨Año Mariano¨ had official selection at Sundance Film Festival . In addition , it won Audiencia Award Toulouse Film Festival 2002 .

The ensemble cast has some nice moments in the film , with two excellent players , Kara Elejalde and Fernando Guillen Cuervo , both of whom writers and filmmakers . The secondary interpreters are pretty good such as Gloria Muñoz , Silvia Bel , the cook Arguiñano , here in a sympathetic support role and veteran Fernando Guillen , director's father . And Manuel Manquiña , a fine secondary actor , he is one of the best reasons for watching the movie and the rest responded well to the new filmmakers . The cinematography is glimmer as well as colorful . This evocative photography was well made by a good expert and deemed to be one of the best Spanish cameramen , Hans Burman, who has a long career such as ¨Guantanamera¨ , ¨Open your eyes¨ , ¨Tesis¨ , ¨Girasoles Ciegos¨ , ¨Lola¨ , ¨Paris Tombuctú¨ and many others . Director Fernando Guillen Cuervo , whose first directorial job this movie is, had some success in the way the film satirizes the peculiar roles ; however here abounds absurd moments and a sour critique to Christianism ; subsequently the directed another title ¨Los Managers¨ that was a commercial flop . Also appears credited as filmmaker/actor Kara Elejalde who ulteriorly filmed another crazy picture titled ¨Torapia¨ . Rating : 5,5/10 . Acceptable and passable .

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the funniest movies I have ever seen.

Author: davidwferreira from Porto, Portugal
27 September 2004

I saw this movie by accident. I was at the theatre, had seen pretty much all the movies showing... and than I saw a poster with a pot leaf, and a church glass window in the back. I decided to take a chance... and I'm glad I did! It is not only a beautiful and very simple movie... as it manages to criticise a lot of institutions/groups of people in our society... such as the Catholic Church. The only problem with the movie, which isn't really a problem as it is beyond the grasp of who did the movie... is that you have to reasonably understand Spanish or Portuguese, to get some of the (and best) jokes. If u do... you'll be able to appreciate the movie to it's fullest... and there's quite a lot to appreciate. It may not be ur style of movie... but it's definitely worth seeing at least once.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Weakly Drawn Characters, And Puerile Dialogue, Added To Plot Weaknesses Devalue An Attempt At Anti-Establishment Satire.

Author: rsoonsa ( from Mountain Mesa, California
22 September 2009

Dramatic episodes are interlaced with scenes that are probably intended to claim comedic intent in this Spanish-made farce that is handicapped by a small budget and tight shooting schedule, serious obstacles to be sure that face veteran actors Karra Elejalde and Fernando Guillén Cuervo, who also serve here as co-directors as well as sharing the lead roles and contributing to the script. The film has been a popular success in Spain, while finding little favour outside that nation. Reasons for this general lack of approval are several, including a less than cogent point of view being provided by the directors, and dialogue that too often becomes merely an assault upon viewer sensibilities. Although the plot line clearly furnishes potential for constructing elements of irony, erratic character development in conjunction with awkward editing results in a good deal of cartoonish burlesque marked by wearisome exaggeration. Shortly after action begins, intoxicated travelling salesman Mariano (Elejalde) loses control of his automobile while upon a rural road and drives into a field that is part of a clandestine marijuana plantation. While a drunken Mariano decides to stay put and sleep it off, a squad of local Guardia Civil sets the illicit plants afire and he, obviously under the influence of the burning weed, fancies that he has seen the Virgin Mary, apparently because he had been listening to a call-in radio programme hosted by a "Maria" Vélez (Silvia Bel) before he veered into the crop. While recovering in hospital, Mariano gibbers about his religious vision, attracting the interest of evangelical nun "Sister Trini" (Gloria Muñoz) who, along with her votaries and a confidence man, Enrique Torres, or "Tony Towers" (Guillén Cuervo), salute Mariano as a prophet, combining their energies to build a holy shrine at the seared site of his near immolation, therewith raising large sums of cash, at the same time developing a fresh persona for the former salesman whom they prevail upon (against his better judgement) to accept this new sacred status. The film is overlong, with a surfeit of harrowing scenes featuring Elejalde that, through inordinate usage of the most oafish forms of profanity, are apparently designed to be some type of comedic comment upon Roman Catholicism and other Spanish institutions. These are unsuccessful in their attempts, as the spiritual exploits of Mariano, Tony and the others seem only able to claim success with the simplest of provincials. Additionally, there is dialogue filled with punning wordplay that is virtually untranslatable into a non-Spanish tongue, with a result that English only speakers will do a good deal of head scratching at the subtitles. Released upon a Venevision DVD with special material including Spanish language only interviews with the two principals. Both audio and visual quality are estimable.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Hilarious.........

Author: onedoubles from London, England
1 June 2003

Hey, I just have to say that this movie is pretty damned funny. No, the plot doesn't blow you away but the humor is there and I had a lot of fun watching it. Since seeing it the first time I have passed along my copy to friends and they have also enjoyed it. So, if you want to see a good/fun movie watch this one.

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