Friday, February 11, 2011

Biutiful (2010)

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Cast: Javier Bardem, Maricel Alvarez. 148 min. Rated R. Mexico/Spain. Drama.

Inarritu does not reproduce his love for parallel stories here, but definitely re-demonstrates his obsession with death. A petty criminal with a heart of gold running a bootleg-movie business and a Chinese sweatshop in Spain takes care of his two kids, is dying from cancer, has a manic-depressive wife, and whatever he ventures on leads to disaster. As though that wasn't enough, he can communicate with the dead too. Bardem was probably the only actor in Spain powerful enough to transcend such emotional depth. And I never thought Spaniards considered butterflies the physical embodiment of the dead also.

Mo says:


  1. As you said about Herzog once , i don't know whether such great filmmakers like Gonzalez are aware from what are they doing with their audiences? At the end of movie i felt i'm going to die and the only one i was eager to see was my father! i didn't predict the final , i felt that it's going to happen and it exactly happened . (spoiler): He saw his father with beautiful style of Gonzalez' in attaching the end scene to the opening . I mean such engagement and impact on the viewers is so intensive that they can creat the scene because they are united with the character and unconsciously stepping in front of filmmaker and make it possible to creat a scene in their fantasy and simultaneously see it on the screen and this is incredible power of art!
    After tree of life this is the second story that in interpreting meaning of death and Fatherhood is totaly triumphant and in real,seems the movie was dedicated to filmmaker's father.

  2. Maryam,

    I have to make a confession: Even though I loved the atmosphere Inarritu had created, I didn't get the ending. Where was that location in the beginning and the end? A freezing heaven? A freezing hell?

    And where were the kids going at the end at the train station?

    Please give a spoiler alert before you post your response!


  3. Sorry ! I guess my spoiler in previous note was a little late! Could you please fix the problem? I’d really appreciate that.

    So other SPOLERS are :
    I don’t know exactly where was that place ? it never came to my mind !maybe heaven ...since the heaven is under feet of fathers .right ?;-).
    I just got how beautifully the opening scene was changed and meaningful at the end. In the first scene ,we hear a romantic conversation between a man and girl in an intimate position,maybe two lover in a bed …a man gives his precious ring to his beloved ,....then in a snow scene we just see a dead oak and a young man talking with another middle-age man…In the last scene we see such intimate situation is just a father-daughter relationship and the man is dying in the bed and gives his only left treasure to his daughter after many labor and hardship he tolerated for keeping her and her brother safe ,have been failed .The young man in snow is man’s father, the man whose memorial for the son was just a photo and a body discovered 30 years after his death and after-life is the first meeting between a father and son , also the oak is a symbol of fatherhood, since Gonzalez exactly wrote at the end : To my beautiful old oak….my father.

    About train station I didn’t get what you mean ? what kids ? In the train station scene at the end , just African woman and her infant were leaving town after she stole all of man’s saving when she accepted it for taking care of children after his death. All of those money which man gathered by any means even buying cheap heaters for that basement and unintentionally caused death of 25 innoscent immigrants by toxic gas…
    I think the movie has a numerous points to discuss and own many shaking scenes. Very emotional,very thoughtful.

  4. Thank you, Maryam, for the explanations. As you can see, I saw the movie 9 months ago, and that's why I'm mixing up the details.

    To me, the dead Chinese watching Bardem from the basement ceiling were the most haunting. After all this time, I still can't get that image out of my mind.