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During the last couple of years Spain has produced such an amount of quality
films, that it is almost inevitable for a film like Sé quién eres to hit the
screens. Still, it is sad to see that a film doesn't have to be made in the
USA for it to feature every possible Hollywood cliché. Sé quién eres is a
thriller in which a female doctor examines a man who has lost his memory due
to some horrible experience he had in the seventies. Sound familiar? Well,
after the typical premise Sé quién eres follows the conventions of the genre
so faithfully, that the audience can at any time guess what is going to
happen next. The only original and interesting aspect of the film are the
references to the past of Spain, and to the terrorism during the Franco
dictatorship. Sadly, this theme is left undeveloped, while it might have
been made into a interesting political thriller - something Sé quién eres is
To sum it up: if the language of Sé quién eres would be changed from Spanish to American English, nobody would notice the difference.
Adapting totally the historical occurence in Madrid of an attack on a
left-wing lawyers' office in Atocha, a suburb of Madrid, and transposing it
to another formula but with similar `underhand' political connotations, rife
in those early days of the transition in Spain towards democracy, `Sé Quién
Eres' (I know who you are) builds up a neat mystery thriller, a little in
the style of some of those classic detective novels by such writers as
Patricia Highsmith or Raymond Chandler and turned into
Mario, since that rather horrific night, lapses into a peculiar state of loss of memory called the Korsakof Syndrome, and gets taken into the nursing home of a doctor, Paloma, who is at once fascinated by but rather fearful of this rather unpredictable man. The story unfolds between Galicia and Madrid, flashback scenes gradually slotting into place, with a couple of brief excursions into what might be termed `over-the-top exaggerations', which, mercifully, do not spoil the film.
The rhythm of the film is intentionally held at a low-key pitch, maintaining a rather quietened almost psychological balance, rather than the intrepid pace of gun-toting detectives in full flight behind equally armed villains, gangsters, or what-have-you. The result is a film which keeps the viewer interested, despite certain flaws in some scenes which interrupted a little the rhythm of the piece.
The cast is good very good. Ana Fernández has attracted me for some time now, and I think we can safely say she is among the best two or three Spanish actresses of the moment the other is Ariadna Gil (qv). Ana Fernández was excellent in `Solas' (1999)(qv) and this, together with `You're the One' and `Hable con Ella' show that she is a good choice for character-driven story-lines. Miguel Ángel Solá is definitely up to the mark here, playing opposite Fernández. Vicky Peña as Sarah is worthy of mention for her small part.
Alcaine's photography is good and José Nieto, as ever, gives us an interesting score, albeit somewhat remeniscent at times of Chandler country perhaps. He has long been one of Spain's top two or three composers for films and TV programmes.
Despite certain loose wanderings and the use of obvious standardised architecture for films of this genre, Patricia Ferreira has made, with this film, a promising start to her career.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a film about a doctor trying to help one of her amnesic patients
regain memory, only to discover that the patient had done some very
things in the past. This in turn lead to the discovery of a political
plot over 20 years ago.
I liked this film. The story was good, because it kept the viewers in a mood of suspense. The answer to the mystery was solved bit by bit. As the answers came, new questions arose. There was a constant search for answers, which kept the viewers occupied. There was suspense throughout the film, because they had to escape from some mysterious killers who wanted to kill them.
I also thought that the acting was good. The amnesic man performed well, and the female doctor behaved professionally like a real doctor. In her role she was a caring doctor, and I thought she was able to play her part well. She was determined to find out the truth about why this patient lost his memory. I particularly liked the bit about her losing a friend in an explosion. She displayed her emotions in a realistic way.
However, there was one bit of the film which I found not so good. When the amnesic man saw on the newspaper that a man got killed in a bar, he immediately went to phone the army commander. He said that he was "Moor", and that he knew that the army commander killed the man in the bar. If the patient really had amnesia, how could he remember the phone number all of a sudden? How could he remember that he was "Moor"? In addition, this phone call and the code name "Moor" was not mentioned again in the rest of the film. Whether he did not remember it in the rest of the film, or the director chose to not to mention it again, I do not know. However, if the director chose not to mention the code name "moor" in the first place?
Anyway, this is only a very minor point. I still liked the film and thought that the film was thrilling.
This is the story of a doctor (Ana Fernandez) and a patient (Miguel Angel Sola) who suffers amnesia. He remembers everything up to 1977 (the action is set in 1999). Secrets hidden and suspense driven in half of the movie but falls flat due to several characters introduced in the second part of the motion picture. But closely to the end the action and thrilling suspense recovers to conclude a good film. Performances: great Ana Fernandez and Sola. The others are fine. But there was no need to include more characters. That's why the screenplay is not as good as it should be. Could have been a very good thriller. Pity. 7 out of 10.
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