7.2/10
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2 user 1 critic

Seawards Journey (2003)

El viaje hacia el mar (original title)
A group of men travel across Uruguay to watch the sea.

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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Rodriguez
Diego Delgrossi ... Rataplan
Julio César Castro ... Siete y Tres, Diez
Julio Calcagno ... Quintana
Héctor Guido ... Vasco
... El Desconocido
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aquino ... Aquino
Raquel Armas ... Vecina
Irma Bentancour ... Mujer Rataplán
Varina de Césare ... Rubia cartel
Aura Diano ... Señora Silla
Hugo García ... Trompetista
José Luis García ... Chofer
Bruno Musitelli ... Dueño bar
Walther Muñiz ... Arriero
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Storyline

"Seawards Journey" tells the tale of five villagers, who embark on a journey to see the ocean for the first time. They depart in a broken down freight truck, property of RODRÍGUEZ, a taciturn man who loves the sea. Their point of departure is a local bar, and at the last minute, an unknown man from the bar joins their adventure. Written by Anonymous

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Adventure | Comedy

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8 August 2003 (Uruguay)  »

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Seawards Journey  »

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A sample of Uruguayan cinema technical skills...
16 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

...but that once again fails to deliver a story for these times and its public with demanding and dynamic taste for quality entertainment for their rather scarce spare time.

This a correct movie from the technical point of view, that means Uruguayan movie makers have this goal achieved. It also shows that in the land of revolutionary hero Artigas, in this rather little country sharing the River Plate with Latin America cinema power Argentina, it is perfectly feasible to create films that evolve in sunny stages, with plenty of light, and rather little depressive drama. This is also another not minor achievement since Uruguayan contemporary movies that had get enough promotion to be noticed, seem to follow an unwritten law of delivering stories that don't seem to bring any amusement.

Just follow the following quick checklist. Highly marketed "El Dirigible" is basically a mess that not even the performers understood (actor Ricardo Espalter made it clear to anybody listening to him). "En la Puta Vida" is far away the most entertaining contemporary production but has very little Uruguayan except the writer (the lead credits go to Argentineans and basically all the story takes place in Barcelona) and still falls when it tries to deliver a patronizing message demonizing the condition of Uruguayan women turn into international prostitution (Uruguay has very few shots for minimally descent productions, why waste them systematically in bad propaganda? Believe me, the world already have an unrealistic and extremely bad concept about the countries south of the world). And finally "Whisky" the darker most pessimistic dramatic comedy I've ever seen, the only way to avoid suicidal behavior when watching it is to take it as a pure comedy and laugh about the rather real endemic Uruguayan pessimism (no need to reenact it on the screen).

"El Viaje hacia el mar" marks an improvement by removing pessimistic, dark, or worthless sad environments. But still lacks of a good, compelling, attractive, entertaining story to back it up.

Based on the short story by Morosoli, the most outstanding writer coming from the hills of Lavalleja County (or Department as they call them in Uruguay) from half century ago, is already outdated. Maybe a good piece for a literature class, or for those times mainstream readers, but not anymore, and certainly not for a full-length movie.

The anecdote of this set of all-male and -supposedly- colorful characters taking a long (and slow, very slow) trip to get to know the sea for the first time (that's actually just a hundred miles away) after a life submerged in the hills of Minas (Lavalleja's capital), is weak for modern readers and it's impossible it can fill a whole movie, even if you shoot as slow as your patience can resist.

Well, actually, there is a way to develop a film from such tiny base, the fact that this movie is out there shows it's possible. You just have to master the Uruguayan art of doing the things slower beyond any healthy conception.

Long road scenes where actually nothing happens, showing a truck (yes, you get it a slow truck that was already old and cranky for the fifties) loaded with a bunch of speechless and pretty boring characters, leaves few choices: fall asleep, hope for some surprising twist (a turtle passing the truck would be hysterical and perhaps would change my whole concept about this film), or watch it in fast-forward. Amazingly when you do the latest, everything seems to run still slow, but looks like a more realistic slowness.

But let's focus on the positive side -and that's why I'm giving a rating over 5-, Uruguayan movie makers are already capable of delivering technically sound movies. Let's hope they will finally will find a suitable story for all that talent. Uruguay has outstanding writers, it's just a matter of connecting the dots...


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