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A surrealistic movie about a surrealistic artist
The Spanish library in our city has a large collection of Spanish movies and to extend our knowledge of the language, we rent random movies. This way we stumbled on Dali.
The opening scene didn't promise too much I must say. Probably due to bad preparation from our side, we were thrown in this surrealistic scene head first. Depicting one of Dali's surrealistic dreams, this scene made me feel like we attended a highly subsidized, but rarely visited art theater performance. In the next scenes the audience is introduced to the title character. The Dali in this movie gets on your nerves really fast with his typical way of speaking and his fanatic drive to annoy other people. Slowly the movie regained terrain however. When the interview -the main window of the movie- starts, we see Dali reflecting on his own life in what seems like his true self. The times he lived in were wild and that makes the context of his stories very interesting.
What did I consider the good aspects of the movie? It's an interesting way to find out more about the artist Dali. Because Dali lived in an age where film and photography already existed, the movie stays really close to the truth. If Dali had lived 100 years earlier, people would probably never picture him like he really was. They probably would've pictured him like a quiet man with a vivid fantasy. If I didn't know otherwise, I would have said Quin overacted. Apparently he did a very thorough job. We also get to know a little about the Spanish civil war, a part of history usually overlooked in the turmoil of the two world wars and the hectic period in between.
Alas, for me, the bad aspects of the movie came out on top. The aforementioned way of acting may refrain Dali from becoming a total caricature, it fails with all the other characters. Beside that, the filming techniques that were used, especially the dubbing of the voices, make the movie appear cheap and very out-of-date. It also distracts too much from the content. I was surprised the movie was made in the nineties for that matters.
If you consider watching the movie however, don't hesitate to do so. It's enough as an accurate biopic and if you prepare for some surrealistic scenes and a caricature set of characters, you may just come out okay.