Friday, May 6, 2016

Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed (2013)

Director: David Trueba
Starring: Javier Camara, Natalia de Molina, Francesc Colomer, Ramon Fontsere, Rogelio Fernandez, Jorge Sanz, Ariadna Gil

In 1966, a Spanish school teacher (Camara) obsessed with The Beatles discovers John Lennon is shooting the film How I Won the War in the next county and takes his opportunity to meet the man by driving to the film set. He eventually picks up two other lost souls in Belen (de Molina), a girl trapped in a clinic for pregnant women, and Juanjo (Colomer), a typical teen running away from his overbearing father (Sanz).

Mostly delightful and simple dramedy, more so than a 'road trip', trucks along at a nice speed and then throws in this weird romantic love triangle that serves almost no purpose. Keeping on the positive side, the story is more about these three people stuck in a transitional phase culturally, all three witnesses of victims of authoritarian abuse going to speak to the legend who convinced the world that 'love' and 'peace' are all we need to survive.

The trio all feed off wonderfully, though it's clear Camara is the professional. Really the praise must go to writer/director Trueba whose not out to force feed us anything but plays to his strengths in both storytelling and themes. Financially, the film is clearly unable to shower us in Beatles classics, though Lennon's Help and Strawberry Fields Forever (which is where the title comes from) are used extensively through the dialogue - though you can't convince me that's the real Lennon singing towards the end. There's also many historical goofs but that doesn't take away from this pleasurable experience.


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