Sunday, 26 February 2012

Aina Clotet in "Elisa K" [2010 Spain]

Before "Elisa K", I'd seen only one other film of veteran Catalan writer-director Jordi Cadena (from the 'destape' years, starring a young Ana Belén). For this film however, the directorial credits are shared with Judith Colell whose filmography I'm totally unaware of. The film can also be divided into two parts. The first, substantial part that covers two thirds of the film is shot in monochrome - events relating to the past. The final part is set in present day Barcelona.

Elisa visits her dad ever other weekend along with her brother and sister - her parents are divorced. Her father would take them out along with his jeweller-friend and children. When she's twelve, something terrible happens during one of the visits, events which her mind will block from memory. Until after more than ten years, as a carefree and ambitious university student, painful memories come flooding back one day and it is time to face up to and come to terms with what actually happened. Since both the parts' respective timelines are linear, we are privy to events as they happen. The rest of the film is a study in the manner in which Elisa shields herself by failing to register what happened, and the pain and suffering later in life when she remembers the day, and her quest for a 'closure' of sorts, to put this behind her and move on...

Catalan cinema is fascinating to watch as it often has a different way of looking at and showing things, bolder and edgier than its Castillian cousin. The first part of the film, substantial as it is, can actually even stand as the main film, with the second part acting as an epilogue. The cinematography, pace and direction in the first part is simply enchanting, and you if briefly would wish it had ended with that, because the second part is its opposite, even if it is just as well made and the performance by Aina Clotet, who plays the adult Elisa, heartfelt and intense - the jarring images and Elisa's pain put you ill-at-ease. It is nevertheless a compelling piece of cinema and therefore, Recommended Viewing..!

Amazon DVD Link

Scene: Aina Clotet
The first two minutes or so has no nudity but I felt it necessary to show Elisa's reaction gradually taking shape due to a sudden vague recollection. Elisa is played by a beautiful, talented, and totally immersed-in-character Aina Clotet. It requires 'balls' to appear in front of the camera totally unglamorous, unkempt and utterly defenceless - Srta. Clotet sure has them in good measure..!

Aina Clotet in Elisa K


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