Somewhere in Santiago at a dimly-lit nightclub, Orlando, the kindly and well-off owner of a textile company, locks eyes with Marina, a hopeful singer and the roughly half-his-age love of his life. But, unfortunately, after Marina's birthday celebration and a night of passion, Orlando falls gravely ill--and by the following morning--he dies in hospital. In the wake of her companion's untimely death, Marina will soon realise that, from now on, everything is brought into question: her involvement in Orlando's death, their unconventional relationship; and above all, her right to mourn her beloved deceased. In the end, what was Marina's crime; a deed so hideous that would rob a fantastic woman of her respect, her dignity, and ultimately, her identity?Written by
Puedo Confiar en el Señor
Performed by Francisca Espinosa & Belen San Martin See more »
Strong plea for tolerance and understanding
I had expected 'The Square' to win the foreign language Oscar, and I had hoped 'On Body and Soul' would take home the award. I was wrong. Instead of the urgency of the former or the poetry of the latter, the jury chose the delicacy of 'Una Mujer Fantástica'.
Probably, the choice has been as much inspired by the subject of the film as by the cinematographic quality of it. 'Una Mujer Fantástica' is a plea for mutual understanding, tolerance and kindness. And at the same time a condemnation of bigotry, prejudice and brutality. It can't be seen without having to think about the wave of intolerance against all kinds of minorities currently sweeping western societies.
The fantastic woman who has given the film its title, is Marina Vidal, a woman in her twenties who is dating a businessman about twice her age. In spite of the age difference, they seem to be happy with each other. But it's not so much the age difference that is remarkable. Marina is a woman who has been a man before.
In the first part of the film, this is not an issue at all. It's only after her lover suddenly dies, that Marina's gender becomes something peculiar. The medical staff, the police and, above all, her lover's relatives treat her with utmost distrust and suspicion. They won't even let her grieve, or attend the funeral.
The film shows how Marina suffers from the way she is treated, and how she refuses to give in. She remains her proud self, and in the end gets what she wants: a decent goodbye to her deceased lover. The film doesn't fall into the trap of making the whole thing too sentimental. The director registers the events, with a certain amount of compassion, but without making a tearjerker of it.
This is not a groundbreaking movie. But 'Una Mujer Fantástica' is without any doubt a well-written, well-directed and well-acted drama, with an underlying message that's hard not to agree with.
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