August 30, 2008 at 9:59 am (Uncategorized)

There are times when the sheer beauty of the background takes your breath away. The colours, the contrasts simply intermingle to give you an O experience. Throw in a masterful script and powerful performances and you have a masterpiece at your hands. Unfortunately Americano lacks the last two things though it is visibly very appealing.

The story of our life in the end is not our life, it is our story. This film so young at heart, is set against the backdrop of the Running of Bulls Festival at Pamplona (Fiesta de San Fermin) where three backpackers from the states are spending the last few days of their holidays and meet a beautiful Spanish chiqua and an undercover agent. Before you dismiss this as another slasher film, hold on. It is a completely different genre. The only blood you will see during the movie is a bloody gory bull fighting scene which the director tries to justify. Bull fighting is seen as an ethical issue with PETA organizing a protest outside the venue. There is a beautiful exchange of dialogue where Adela ( the role of Spanish girl played oh so sensually by Leonor Varela) questions whether the American way of killing animals with a gun is above questioning since bull fighting at least gives you an honorable way of going away. She does a brilliant job of making the bull fighting tradition so suggestive and carnal

The actual running of the bulls scene is done brilliantly with handheld cameras and unorthodox angles. It looks dangerous enough for me to never go there. As our hero begins to wonder whether he should go back, Adela takes the three of them to rural Spain where the real difference in culture (skinny dipping shows up). The movie does a good job of presenting the good, the bad and the ugly parts of the Spanish customs. Apparently, if a guy loves a girl he can throw stones on her. Talk about tough love eh.

I connected very deeply with the movie since the central theme of following the beaten path or risking it all on the road less traveled which bugged me a lot during my final days in Europe. But I didnt give in to the temptation. Did our hero do it? go watch the movie,you lazy asses.

Unlike most other movies the second half of Americano is way better than the first half which just seemed some mish mash of good individual scenes. Enjoy this movie for its great music, beautiful cinematography but don’t expect a life changing experience. At the most you’d want to go to Spain to enjoy the beautiful natural scenes (and the chicks of course). Dennis Hopper is in a blink and you miss role. Joshua Jackson is suited for his character with perfection and he plays it with elan.

The movie tells you to do what scares you. Go watch a non mainstream movie. You might end up being pleasantly surprised.

Genre: Romance, Drama

Rating: Yawnnnnnn

Go watch it with: A spanish chick,  as part of your movie club, a tasteful friend

Go watch it for: The view, running bulls scene, end of teen life crisis, lesson in sensuality




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