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Gorgeous movie splendidly set and with wonderful outdoors from mountains , countryside and beaches
This is a magic story about a soccer player and a widow set during post-Spanish Civil War . 1948 , while driving his truck , throughout an abandoned way , Forteza (Carmelo Gomez) , a previous football player , stops when he watches a wounded man (Eduardo Fernandez) in the middle of the road . This man asks to be taken to a nearby village so his wound can be healed . The wounded man is part of a communist guerrilla called ¨Maquis¨ , irregular soldiers who fought Franco Regime in the North Spain . In a village Forteza meets a beautiful widow named Manuela (Maribel Verdu) , who is a sister of the man he helped . The seaside village is inhabited by diverse people : the priest (Roberto Alvarez) , the doctor (Abel Viton) , the Buhonero (Jose Alias) , deputies of Guardia Civil , among others . Forteza has an spectacle in which he competes with the locals of any village in his itinerary challenging them to attempt to make a goal . Things get worse when Andrade (Antonio Resines) , Sergeant of the Civil Guards challenges Forteza to a competition between the army force and the villagers .
Drama with historical and romantic elements , a little bit of comedy and rural habits ; including enjoyable performances and adequate set design . Set in Northern Spain during the years that followed the Civil War (1936-1939) , as the picture results to be other of the innumerable stories to deal with dramatic deeds regarding the Civil War background or its aftermath , in this case deals with fighters battling the new regime of Franco , attempting to do harm wherever they could , as this guerrilla roaming the mountains of Northern Spain and undertaking raids and unexpected attacks to government forces . A familiar theme about the global horrors of a fratricide war , impossible to forget to our cinema . This is an agreeable story plenty of enjoyable moments , moving feelings and attractive finale . Director Gonzalo Suarez, also writes the interesting script along with prestigious screenwriter Manuel Hidalgo who also wrote the original story . Filmed in his usual formal and stylistic scholarship , without leaving a trace the thought-provoking issues , in terms of dramatic and narrative excitement . The flick can be defined as a realistic drama , a romantic history , a historic fresco and a socio-political fable . Good performances from a Spanish all-star cast such as Garmelo Gomez as an itinerant former soccer star , a a skillful sportsman with a great record , though now is a bit older to be playing professionally, Maribel Verdu as a lonely widow , Roberto Alvarez as a likable priest , Eduardo Fernandez as a fighter , Antonio Resines as a stiff sergeant and Elvira Minguez as his adulterous wife . The film was compellingly shot , though in its final takes place some ridiculous scenes as when the unreal confrontation between Guardia Civil and Guerrilla on the beach . Anyway, it's is compensated with the great performances from main cast and competent secondary support , interpreters who provided a considerable boost to the result . Lively and emotive musical score with catching leitmotif by Carles Cases . Colorful and brilliant cinematography by Carlos Suarez , brother's director , being filmed on marvelous landscapes from Llanes (Asturias) , location where the filmmaker directs most his flicks .
Direction by Gonzalo Suarez is pretty good , he shows his skill for edition , realizing long shots with crowd who moves easily especially on his ending , during soccer competition . Gonzalo Suarez is a good craftsman who has directed several films from the 60s . He excelled at bringing to life tautly written tales about strange characters facing difficult circumstances and dealing with thought-provoking , brooding stories . Throughout his career he regularly alternated hits with misses . He has stylistic trademarks , but also been criticized for his slow-moving films , though his best flicks remain exciting to watch . Among his most important pictures , mostly dramas , are the following : 1994 The detective and death , 1992 La Reina Anónima , 1991 Don Juan en Infiernos ,1988 Rowing with the wind , 1984 Epílogo ,1977 Parranda , 1977 Reina Zanahoria , 1976 Beatriz , 1975 La Regenta , 1974 La Loba y la Paloma .
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