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If you're looking for a good mystery/psych thriller, watch this film! I saw it at the I.N.C.A.A. theater by the Plaza del Congreso in Buenos Aires, and even though my Spanish is not the best, the spare dialogue and odd plot made it a both understandable (at least in the literal sense) and interesting movie.
It starts off in the city of Buenos Aires, where the female protagonist and a man, a geologist, fall in love and marry. He periodically goes off to ¨El Sur,¨ i.e. Patagonia, to conduct geological work The craziness begins when, on one trip, he disappears, leaving his wife distraught. She goes off to find him and comes across another man who looks just like him. His name is Luiz, and he claims to be married. The movie documents their simultaneously detached and intimate relationship.
I feel like ¨Las vidas¨ has a lot to say about the difficulty in defining relationships and the yearning to make a connection with another person. One part that especially stood out was Luiz and the protagonist's interactions as he helps her look for a house to buy in Santa Cruz, where she will wait for her husband. At this point, she suspects that Luiz is her husband, while his thoughts about her seem to be uncertain. She is insistent on buying the house; he advises her to take time and not be hasty. The house comes to symbolize the shape and parameters of their relationship. The rooms they wander through are somewhat like the situations that they keep wandering into throughout a movie that seems to have no detailed plot, at least in terms of concrete events.
The protagonist's persistence in searching for her husband could be the expression of her undeniable connection with him, or it could be simply a result of her longing to connect with another person any person. Why does she, and why do we as people, crave this connection so much? Maybe we just need something to cling to. The protagonist's conversation with a waitress at a lodge in Santa Cruz suggests her and ours essential state of isolation. The waitress speaks of ¨el mar,¨ the ocean a sign of the vast space and irrationality through which navigate in our daily lives. ¨Do you like it here?¨ asks the protagonist. ¨I like what I HAVE here,¨ replies the waitress. We are creatures who hold onto our possessions for sake of sanity.
I won't spoil the ending of the movie. Let me just add that if you're into beautiful scenery, the views of snowy mountains and the ocean are shot beautifully. Some of the acting and script weren't strong, but nevertheless, this movie will leave you, if not satisfied, at least thoughtful.
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