"Hierro" is definitely worth a watch. It is by no means perfect -it is slow-paced, too slow-paced at times; it has random scenes and seemingly random characters that could have been further exploited; the nightmarish, surreal atmosphere that is hinted at in the first scenes never quite comes to fruition-, but it is a captivating experience for a viewer. Ultimately, what makes this movie a little sea pearl is the depth and the realism of the emotions that it conveys, mostly thanks to a stellar and very inspired Elena Anaya, who deserves every praise as the actress that carries the weight of this drama on her shoulders, and pulls it off masterfully.
In "Hierro", Elena Anaya stars as María, a young mother to 5-year-old Diego. On a ferry journey to the small Canary island of Hierro, Diego vanishes and no trace of him can be found. The first part of the movie is probably the best -we see the young mother whose life is centered around her only son, and then we witness her despair at her loss, and her fruitless attempts at recovering some kind of normalcy. These sequences in particular, with María bordering madness, are especially well-done. One day, María gets a call from the police in Hierro, asking her to return in order to check the identity of a body that could be that of Diego's. Back in Hierro, María will continue her quest for the lost son, in the middle of a desolate -but extremely beautiful- natural setting, and colorful but hostile locals...
While the story doesn't flow as naturally as desired, I never found it hard to follow, nor boring -I was mesmerized by the powerful emotional journey of this mother and for the mysteries that she finds along her way. The ending is very fitting and well-done. The final answer to the young mother's plight and whether it can be predicted or not doesn't matter as much as how she gets there and all the difficulties that she has to surmount, which made this a perdurable story in my mind.
My rating is 8/10.
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