Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, 21 Grams, Amores Perros), has a penchant for intimate portrayals of strangers thrown together by tragedy, finding redemption in the midst of extraordinary circumstances.
In a reversal of formula, Biutiful is instead the battle of one man, Uxbal, his desperation to regain the threads of a life rapidly unravelling before him, and the dawning comprehension that his time is bitterly short.
If it sounds like hard work – it is. What emerges is almost two and a half hours of unrelenting gloom, conjuring a distinct sense of drowning in the emotional upheaval, gasping for some kind of relief from the overwhelming melancholy.
There are very few rays of sunshine to be found here. Despite Bardem’s most valiant and admittedly brilliant efforts, it is perhaps inevitable that the general consensus upon emerging from the cinema would be – “I'm tired. I need a coffee.”
Javier Bardem, Maricel Alvarez
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu