Thursday, March 10, 2011

Even the Rain (2011)

Gael Garcia-Bernal, without question, is one of my favorite working actors right now. I honestly have never seen the guy do anything bad (nor a movie he was in, be bad). And namely stuff like Y Tu Mama Tambien and even more so, The Science of Sleep and The Motorcycle Diaries, the guy has shown how incredibly talented he is. So, like Kate Winslet, just his name in a movie, pretty much forces me to want to see it.

So when this movie, Even the Rain was announced coming to town a few weeks ago, I planned to see it. The premise is a tad dark, being about a movie being made in Bolivia about Christopher Columbus and the immigrants settling in a native american part of their country. But really, the making-of the movie ends up being secondary and almost metaphorical to what is actually going on in the present.

The water supply being controlled by the Bolivian government, restricting the access to a lot of the lower-income natives there. And some of the native Bolivians cast being more involved than the people who cast them realize.

One key character, Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri) is the biggest culprit, so much so, it begins to affect his ability to act in scenes and make the movie. It ends up getting more political at that point. Daniel ends up being a leader for his demographic in forcing the government to supply water. The director (Bernal) and his staff are not happy, but ultimately side with him.

"You don't understand. Water is Life" as he says to him after he is bailed out of jail from his arrest as a result of a protest.

Juan Carlos Aduviri was rather good as Daniel, however, the biggest performance here was given by Luis Tosar who plays Costa. He befriends Daniel and his family, and ultimately takes a large leap of faith/risk at the point where the Bolivian government takes action against the citizens who desperately need their water supply from the government, back.

Tosar really showed a lot of heart and backbone, as at the beginning of the movie when him and Bernal's character Sebastian arrive in Bolivia, he wanted nothing to do with citizens problems or cause for needing the water. It wasn't his problem, he was just there to make a movie.

But in the end, he can't live with himself without helping them out, specifically Daniel and his family (wife and daughter who gets involved in the protest).

Bernal is pretty good along with some of the other cast; Karra Elejalde who played Anton, looked familiar, and now scanning his imdb, he was rather good in Timecrimes a few years ago. So his face and work in this movie being good doesn't surprise me.

But Tosar really made this movie for me, at least giving the best performance. And this movie, like I said, even with it's slightly dark nature, really was as good if not better than I expected. And probably the best movie I've seen in 2011, early on.

Although foreign language movies I tend to appreciate more consistently, so I shouldn't be too surprised. Along with Bernal's track record.

I guess it may be influenced or even based on a true story:

edit: It was at least somewhat based on events that happened in Bolivia in the year 2000, known as the "Cochabamba Water Crisis."

Also just scanning Wikipedia, it was included in a short list (among 8 others) of movies nominated for Best Foreign Language Picture for the 2011 Academy Awards. But it didn't ultimately get included in the list of 5 nominations. That fact doesn't surprise me, although Dogtooth was included. I suppose I can understand that, but in terms of accessibility and appeal, Even the Rain would get my vote 1st every time.