5/10 | 19.Jun.12
Azuloscurocasinegro | DarkBlueAlmostBlack
DIRECTOR: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo | WRITER: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo | CAST: Quim Gutiérrez, Antonio de la Torre, Marta Etura, Eva Pallarés, Héctor Colomé, Raúl Arévalo | Spain
There’s something fake about Azuloscurocasinegro (Englished as DarkBlueAlmostBlack) that starts with its title. It’s not just that Daniel Sánchez Arévalo’s slice of working class Madrid life is obviously influenced by the films of Pedro Almodóvar, but that it has no real integrity at all as a film on its own. The main plot is pure Almodóvar: Jorge, a shy and insecure but dashingly handsome young man, works as a janitor to put himself through business school while taking care of his widowed father who’s had a stroke and suffers from vascular dementia; his childhood sweetheart returns from her studies and work abroad and it’s clear to both of them that whatever spark existed between them is gone; his older brother is a charming but uneducated goofball who’s in prison where he finds a girlfriend, another inmate, who wants to get pregnant but since he shoots blanks he asks his brother, the shy but handsome business student/janitor/nurse to visit the girlfriend on “one-on-one” conjugal days in order to knock her up. Add to this the teen comedy subplot of the janitor/student’s best pal from childhood who’s going through a buffoonish sexual identity crisis of his own. With all of that it just doesn’t feel lurid enough: there’s no passion, no fire, no visual glamour or wit, no sex or sexiness or naughtiness even: it’s all a smooth, steady skim on the surface until it’s over. Subtract a point for the overly insistent film score plagiarized from American Beauty. Add a point for Quim Gutiérrez’s boyish hunkiness.