|Index||2 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In 'No Tengas Miedo' (Don't Be Afraid), Montxo Armendáriz tells a
disturbing story of child sexual abuse through the perspective of a
young survivor Silvia who was molested and raped from the age of 7. The
storytelling is quite simplistic and subtle. Armendáriz does not go
over the top in conveying what he wants to stress. He successfully
avoids the use of clichés. The film itself has a poetic feel but that
of a sad poem. The characterization is well done. I wonder how much of
the film is based on one's experience as it felt very real.
The execution is thankfully simple. The director uses of images one can relate to on a daily basis. The cinematography is solid and the quiet score is well-fitting. There are no graphic images but the suggestive rape sequences themselves are chilling and difficult to watch. The sequences that follow a confused and tormented Silvia are handled with élan.
Another highlight are the performances. Lluís Homar's detestable Padre is revolting. His portrayal sends a chill down the spine for that is how a majority of child molesters are: liked and respected by friends and colleagues while behind closed door they commit their disgusting deeds. Belén Rueda's Madre couldn't have been an easy role to play but obviously Rueda can pull it off. Her Madre too is a despicable for not only turning a blind eye but to abandon her daughter, leaving her all alone with a monster knowing what was happening. Michelle Jenner is remarkable in her impressive portrayal of the quietly suffering Silvia. They are supported by an excellent team of actors.
I didn't know very much about the film before deciding on it. I was under the impression that it was a thriller of some kind and what I ended up with was an intense human drama told effectively by Montxo Armendáriz. In the end, 'No Tengas Miedo' is a sensible story of hope and survival.
This movie is bound to has a deep psychological impact on any watcher. But what provokes the empathy is different from what you can think of. There is no single scene of hysteria which may be typical of films of this kind. In fact, there is nothing that we are used to see when it comes to films raising issues of any kind of deviation. No direct repulsive scenes of violation or abuse. The story is told from the inside, when in fact, the main character hardly says someone a word about her experience. However, the film is well-thought-out, so it's perfectly possible for watchers into the characters. The ways of transmitting emotions throughout the movie are so sophisticated that after watching it one may well be left with a feeling that the story happened to her but she managed so wheel in overcoming it, that she didn't even remember before reminded. Actors in the movie did their job excellently and I especially liked the close attention that was paid to gestures in the movie. While it's certainly a story of revival which is very powerful, it's not a story of a hero. It's just another story of another human being. A very real story. I rated the movie 8 our of 10 because of the job of the team, great attention paid to details, to atmosphere and the fact that they avoided making the story either inspiring or desperate.
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