Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Los Amantes del Círculo Polar (The Lovers from the North Pole)

This movie directed and written by Julio Medem tells the story of Otto and Ana that meet each other due to life circumstances and since that moment the story starts to play with the viewer… what if the boy didn’t kick hard the ball and Otto didn’t run after it or Ana’s father died the previous or next day and she did not run. From there onwards circles follow in the story.

And just in case you are wondering what I mean by circles, circles are those moments when something in your life starts and consequently starts to draw a circle, until it ends and closes that circle… circumstances make someone move into the next circle of life. Unclosed circles are the worst kind, as you feel there is something missing in your life.

No doubt that Medem is a great storyteller and that he uses quite interesting techniques to tell a story. Here he plays by telling one same story moment from Otto’s point-of-view and afterwards from Ana’s point-of-view; but changes and tells a story moment from only Otto p-o-v which continues with only Ana’s p-o-v; then merges Ana’s and Otto’s to go back to the first technique. This is done without any holes in the story that continues to flow without you missing a thing. This is very complex and difficult way to handle a story, but he brilliantly succeeds.

Still as a movie I have to say that I liked better Sex and Lucia –filmed just after this one-, which has a great complex story told in a different way -but also very twisted and interesting- and as a movie was outstanding. Besides, Paz Vega was the lead!!! So I may be a little biased.

The acting is good, but Otto as a kid steals the complete movie, great child actor and great role too. His name is Peru Medem and is the son of Julio Medem. Najwa Nimri, that plays Ana as a young woman is also good and she won several awards, one for also for her role in the original –not the American remake- Open your Eyes.

Noticed that the end of this movie provokes different comments and reactions among viewers and make me think that the diffuse way he ended his story is brilliant as makes viewers react and use their imagination to understand it… at the end each will find the ending that suits him/her best. French critics also seem to be puzzled –in a positive way- by the end.

As a director you need great skills to handle a story the way Medem did here, so the 12 wins and 7 nominations in Spaniard and International festivals and awards are well deserved. Among those honors there is a nomination for the Golden Lion at the 1998 Venice Film Festival.

By the way is a great love story told in a way you will not find in many other drama/romance movies from America and elsewhere.

Looking for an interesting and well-told story? Then this is your must see movie.

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