Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Challenge Excepted: Spain

We're back in Europe! This time in Spain with Jamon Jamon.

Described as a twisted relationship comedy drama with ham. For this was a crazy romantic comedy drama that ended up being really weird and confusing, especially the end shot.

Not only was this the film where, now married actors, Javier Bardem and Penlope Cruz first met but it is Cruz's debut feature film.

The story is set in the Monegros desert in Northern Spain, Silvia (Cruz) has become pregnant by rich spoilt mummy's boy Jose. He wants to marry her but first he has to stand up to his parents, especially his mother, Conchita. Of course she disapproves as after Silvia's father left his family, Silvia's mother, Carmen, became the town prostitute.

In order to stop her son, Conchita pays ham factory worker Raul, to seduce Silvia. But soon Raul starts to fall in love with Silvia which makes Conchita jealous as she now wants Raul all to herself.

The story, up to a point, is very rom-com but because of a few elements it turns to drama. All the characters (except Silvia) lie, cheat and betray one another, due mostly to lust and greed. It was great! All the characters acted melodramatic, Silvia saying every now and then if she can't be with the man she loves, she'll kill herself. Or Jose saying how much he is in love Silvia he'll do anything but then goes and pays Carmen for sex. Conchita is the worst, let's just say, she's the one who starts it all and the one who ruins it all.

There are few odd scenes in the film which involve food or the talk of food, the crowing moment being the fight scene with legs of ham. They can really do some damage.

I really enjoyed the film until near the end where everything that had built up was rushed. The ending felt lazy. For me the film needed an ending that either rounded things up or ended things completely but instead it was slowly abrupt, if that makes sense. It was slow but then just ended, no exclamation.
"The films ends with a peculiar grieving scene, which reiterates the recurring themes of primal instincts, infidelity and destruction." As I said, the films begins and continues as a comedy then end with drama.

End line: Twisted heated relationship drama filled with food metaphors galore.

Next: Sweden, Japan, New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea

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