Projections - Movie Reviews

The Sea Inside
The Sea Inside
Starring: Javier Bardem, BelÚn Rueda, Lola Duenas, Mabel Rivera, Celso Bugallo, Clara Segura

A powerful drama from Alejandro Amenabar (The Others) stars Javier Bardem (The Dancer Upstairs) that works immeasurably off a tricky subject, euthanasia. A symbiosis of acting and film making proves The Sea Inside to be much more about love than death.

The remarkable Bardem is Ramon Sampedro who has been rendered a quadriplegic for over 25 years after a diving accident. There is plenty of support from his father, nephew, sister-in-law and generous brother (Celso Bugallo). Yet, he feels there is nothing more to his life. A volunteer of the Die With Dignity foundation (Clara Segura) appears on his behalf. An involving relationship for Ramon is his disabled attorney, Julia, and affecting Belen Rueda, as they fight a court battle over his right over two years and come to love one another.

Amenabar mightily succeeds without platforming in the moral or political arena and there are genuine emotions, filled with wit as Bardem does so much in his bed ridden dungeon of an existence. Effective transposing arrives in the form of flashbacks of Ramon as a hearty, stalwart young man.

When Bardem demands respect from how he fuses the cerebral with the physical (see how he communicates), this journey of Ramon’s mind, what he knows of what he produced from a collection of memories is thoughtful, poetic mediation. The Sea Inside is honest about the harsher side of what entails real love and friendship and with the manner it addresses its touchy subject matter it has some of the complexities of Denys Arcand’s The Barbarian Invasions.

After a riveting ghost story that gave Nicole Kidman a chance to shine as a mother, Amenabar displays such a keenness to detail and un-sentimentality with such understanding that Bardem executes with extreme nobility.

The Sea Inside

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