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A new literature teacher, Ulises, comes to a small town near the sea and falls in love with a young woman, Martina. This woman is loved by a rich businessman named Alberto but chooses Ulises. Soon after their marriage and the birth of their son, Ulises vanishes while fishing at sea. In the meanwhile Martina marries Alberto, but all is not what it seems... Written by
Yet another film with an illicit affair at its centre - I recently watched MATCH POINT (2005), DAMAGE (1992) and LA SEDUZIONE (1973) - though this is actually a variation on a much-used plot line which dates back to MY FAVORITE WIFE (1940), in which one half of a married couple is thought dead and, on returning several years later, finds the partner now belongs to a new family.
As is to be expected from director Luna, the emphasis this time around is on eroticism - though it's not particularly graphic - and, here, leading lady Leonor Watling at least serves this purpose supremely well! Still, the decision to embellish the love-making with a purportedly poetic touch - in the form of the scholarly hero's recital of a suggestive elegy to the sea - ends up being a misfire, for the simple reason that the repetition serves only to render the whole somewhat monotonous!
The film isn't bad but the narrative (courtesy of screenwriter Rafael Azcona, once valued collaborator to cult Italian film-maker Marco Ferreri) is just too predictable to generate much involvement from the viewer. The finale - in which the two lovers decide to leave everything behind them and sail away (on the boat which bears the film's name) to a new life together - adheres to the ideal of l' amour fou, but Luna and Azcona opt for an ironic double-twist instead! In essence, SON DE MAR is not as intriguing as the only other Bigas Luna title I've watched - THE CHAMBERMAID OF THE TITANIC (1997) - but I should be checking out at least one more film of his (BAMBOLA ) fairly soon...which now makes me regret all the more having missed an Italian-TV showing of VOLAVERUNT (1999) a few months back!
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