Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dark Blue Almost Black

Azuloscurocasinegro; drama, Spain, 2006; D: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, S: Quim Gutiérrez, Marta Etura, Raúl Arévalo, Héctor Colomé, Antonio de la Torr

Hapless Jorge nurses his father and is changing his diaper for seven years, ever since he had a stroke. Because of that, he abandoned his career and worked as a janitor. When Jorge visits him in jail, his brother Antonio asks him to impregnate his girlfriend Paula, also in jail, so that she can be moved away from violent inmates to the maternity board. Antonio cannot do it himself since he is infertile. Paula falls in love with Jorge, which further complicates his new relationship with neighbor Natalie. At the same time, Jorge's friend Sean confronts his father for using the service of Roberto, an erotic masseur, but himself gets attracted to him. Paula gets a daughter whereas Jorge finds a new, better job, leaving Antonio to take care of his father.

"Dark Blue Almost Black" is a solid drama that works the best in some small humorous moments, before it steadily and inevitably turns into a soap opera. In this film by writer and director Daniel Sanchez Arevalo, one subplot is more far fetched than another: if you believe that an erotic masseur would give his customers a hand job without putting curtains on his window so that everybody could see him or that a man would urge his brother to impregnate his girlfriend "for him" or that a woman in jail would want to get pregnant by just about anyone just to get moved to the maternity ward, you may find the story all right, while everyone else will just cringe at all the unconvincing plot points interwoven and glued together into a contrived whole. All the actors and their performances are fine, yet the conventional narrative has an artificial story flow, which contributes to the pale impression. Despite some virtues, "Dark" seems like a film that was made just because someone wanted to make a film for its own sake, not because he had a powerful moment of inspiration that guided him forward.


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