Thursday, 28 May 2009

Little Ashes

Dir: Paul Morrison (Wondrous Oblivion)
Cast: Javier Beltrán, Robert Pattinson, Matthew McNulty, Marina Gatell, Arly Jover
UK, 2009

Seen: May 27, 2009 at the Cumberland

Reason to see: Salvador Dalí is my favourite painter, and curious to see Robert Pattinson non-Twilight performance

Walking into Little Ashes I was expecting to see a biopic on the friendship between painter Salvador Dalí, writer Federico García Lorca and filmmaker Luis Buñuel, and technically you can argue it is such but I honestly feel that it is really a biopic on Federico García Lorca. The film does follow the trio through school and into their professional lives, but at the heart focuses on Lorca played sweetly by Javier Beltrán and his friendship and relationship with Salvador Dalí played by Robert Pattinson. Not to dissuade Robert Pattinson fans, he gets plenty of screen time and does a fantastic job portraying the bizarre surrealist painter Salvador Dalí.

Part biopic, part romance, part historical/political commentary the film walks an artful line creating a compelling drama inspired by the lives of these artists. The beauty is truly in the romance between Lorca and Dalí, and the chemistry fires up the screen. The casting choice of Javier Beltrán and Robert Pattinson was surprizing at first as they have a similar appearance, however this would makes sense from Dalí point of view because he was such an ego maniac that it is easy to believe he could fall for someone who looked like him. This is one among the many complexities in the relationship that the film does not shy away with, in fact it shows these details adeptly throughout..

But it ain't just about the boys. Marina Gatell gives us a fantastic and fearless performance as Magdalena, a writer and friend of Federico García Lorca. Arly Jover bears a striking resemblance to Gala, providing a great casting choice. The music feels almost like a character itself, and the use of music of the film pulls us along the beautiful tale, and shines especially bright during jovial and playful moments.

Is it a film about artists? Yes. About love? Oh, yes. About Friendship? Most definitely, yes. It is also about choices and how our choices shape us and change our lives.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll buy it
I'd recommend it to art and love fans

? minutes of preshow including ? commercials and at least 5 previews: Taking Woodstock, Moon, Departures, Empty Nest / El Nido vacío and Coco avant Chanel

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

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