26 Nov 2019

Film Review - La Novia (The Bride)

  Title: La Novia/The Bride

  Director: Paula Ortiz

  Year: 2015

  Genre: Drama

  Cast: Inma Cuesta | Álex García | Asier Etxeandia



My Thoughts: 

The film is based on the Federico García Lorca play Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding), which I read this month. It wasn't a question that I'd watch this adaptation, given that I know some of the actors and I'm always in search of new Spanish films/series for language learning purposes.

Blood Wedding was inspired by a true story from 1928, when a bride fled her wedding with a cousin, who was later murdered by the groom's brother. The difference in Lorca's version is that the the lover and the groom himself face each other in the end to create the tragic conclusion of the drama together.

The creators of La Novia stayed loyal to Lorca's play in many ways. Almost all the lines the characters speak come from the actual text and the lyrical quality and the beautiful cinematography support each other so well, together they create a brand new work of art. 

Each frame if carefully composed, masterfully arranged, the whole movie is a real delight for the eyes. The rhythm of Lorca's 'singing' poetry beats together with these pretty visuals the feeling of pain and pleasure is intensified by being transmitted through both words and scenery at the same time.

There are frames where individual characters stand alone, like the bride in white dress in front of the night sky and the moon above, or the lover, Leonardo on her horse, a solitary figure in a desert-like dry-yellow landscape these all took my breath away. The group scenes at the wedding and the wedding party are amazing as well, especially the parts with singing and dancing in it.

I absolutely loved the music. García Lorca was first and foremost a poet, and he also collected folk songs for a long time. His poem/song La Tarara that he composed from several songs for children was also put in the film, the scene in which the bride sings it is one of my favourites. A Spanish version of Little Viannase Waltz, which you might know from the Leonard Cohen song 'Take This Waltz' is used, during the knife-fight scene.

The only thing I found a bit too much in the movie was how the symbols were overused. The play itself is full of objects and characters that have certain meanings, like the horse, the different kind of flowers, colours, the character of the moon and the beggar woman. There is too many of these, even in the original material if you ask me, and the makers of the movie added some more which seemed superfluous. However, they merged the moon and the beggar character into one and that I consider a good choice, the twist they pulled in the end with this character was pleasantly surprising too.

I could rave on about this film forever and I think I'll rewatch it many times yet.

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