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Dark Blue Almost Black (Azul Oscuro Casi Negro) (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/11/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Opens London Film Festival: 1st November

Engaging, bittersweet and frequently laugh out loud funny, this is an enjoyable Spanish drama with strong performances and a subtle but effective message.

What's it all about?
Jorge (Quim Gutierrez) is a young Spanish man whose plans for the future are put on hold when his father (Hector Colome) has a stroke. Seven years later, Jorge has finally managed to complete a business degree but finds that no-one will hire him because he only has experience as a janitor.

However, everything changes when Jorge's brother Antonio (Antonio de la Torre) gets out of prison and asks him to help impregnate his jailbird girlfriend, Paula (Marta Etura), in the hope of getting her moved to the easy life of the maternity wing. Jorge reluctantly agrees, even though it might get in the way of his long term on-off relationship with Natalia (Eva Pallares).

The Good
Gutierrez is superb in the lead, as a man who learns to stop blaming everyone else for his problems and to actually live his life. We really feel his frustration, symbolised by the department store suit that gives the film its title.

Antonio de la Torre provides lively, amusing support and rising Spanish star Marta Etura gives a terrifically sexy performance as Paula, presenting a tough exterior but gradually revealing her vulnerability and yearning for something better. There's also an amusing sub-plot in which Jorge's best friend Sean (Raul Arevalo) - nicknamed because of his resemblance to Sean Penn - spies on his male masseuse neighbour and gets more than he bargained for.

The Great
The set-up is unusual and intriguing and there's a subtle but effective message about making the most of it when life takes us in unexpected directions. In addition, the script is frequently funny and isn't afraid to spin off in bizarre directions.

Worth seeing?
This is a thoroughly enjoyable, occasionally hilarious Spanish drama that marks writer-director Daniel Sanchez Arevalo out as a talent to watch. Recommended.

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Content updated: 20/08/2018 15:37

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