Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Los Aires Dificiles: Missed Opportunity


Los Aires Difíciles
Saturday, June 17, 7:20 PM
Pacific Place Cinema
Sunday, June 18, 1:30 PM
Pacific Place Cinema

Los Aires Dificiles, based on a novel by Almudena Grandes, takes on some interesting ideas, characters and narrative structures then, unfortunately, settles for reducing these fascinating elements into a soap opera with a lot of intense sex scenes. The film starts out promisingly. Juan, the protagonist, sees a car accident while driving his orphaned niece and developmentally disabled brother, Alfonso, to their new home on the spectacular Spanish coast. The accident triggers memories of the girl, Charo that he loved and lost to his older brother, Damian. As his present day affair with his new housekeeper heats up, the film reveals in a series of flashbacks that after years of marriage to his brother, Charo initiated an on again off again affair with Juan that only ended when she died in a car accident.

There was a lot of potentially interesting territory to explore- Juan's relationship with Charo beyond the sex, his relationship with his brother Damian and why his brother married Charo, the relationship between Damian and partner in the police, Panrico, Juan's relationship with his mysterious neighbor, Sara- all of which is glossed over. Instead the script concentrated on his one-dimensional relationship with his housemaid and the guy who was stalking her. There's also the "mystery" behind his brother's death which again comes down to a plot device- is Juan responsible for his brother Damian's death? The more interesting question would be why is Panrico so convinced that Juan killed Damian and, if he did kill him, why?

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