- 1h 30min
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A famous composer and conductor, Luis Doria is in present-day Barcelona, and after a performance he is persuaded to go to a drag club to relax. It's seedy and horrible, but he is suddenly transfixed when he realises that the pianist is the gifted Alberto Rossel, a close friend from before the Spanish Civil War. The film then flashes back to 1946, when Rossel has just been released from prison, having been captured at the outset by Franco's fascist forces. He is withdrawn and friendless, but his neighbours soon befriend him for his ability with the piano, and despite his classical musical interests, he manages to bang out a boogie for them to dance to. Earlier, in pre-war Paris, we see the development of the friendship between Rossel and Doria, and of romance with Teresa. We see that in those days, the young Rossel was dedicated to his music and to noble sentiments, while Doria is dedicated only to pleasure and to himself. As tension in Spain mounts, culminating in the military takeover by Franco, everyone decides to leave for Spain to fight for freedom. Everyone, that is, except Doria. Back to the present day, and at the end of the tawdry drag show, Doria finds Rossel and greets him. Does Doria understand what the intervening decades have done to their relationship? —Hazel Freeman <email@example.com>
A Catalan masterpiece
No matter how you look at it, this film has masterpiece written all over it. From the brilliant screenplay of this previously deemed unadaptable novel to the art direction to the superb performances, THE PIANIST is a gem. A very Catalan story about two Barcelona classical pianists who fall in love with the same woman in the midst of the bloody Spanish Civil war, the film is a model of the perfect screen adaptation of an epic novel spanning nearly five decades. The art direction, strong acting, character development, meticulous attention to details including the memorable score, and the use of the regional Catalan language, instead of the more mainstream (but potentially less realistic) use of Castillian Spanish are but a few of the touches that makes THE PIANIST a triumph in movie making nobody should miss.
- Apr 30, 2000
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