Title: Truman

Director: Cesc Gay

Starring: Ricardo Darin, Javier Camara, Eduard Fernandez, Javier Gutierrez, Jose Luis Gomez, Elvira Minguez, Oriol Pla, Dolores Fonzi.

Spanish filmmaker Cesc Gay with wistful delicacy tells the story of Julian (Ricardo Darin), affected by a terminal cancer, as he prepares to face his final curtain.

‘Truman’ begins with Julian meeting his old time friend Tomas (Javier Camara), who comes to visit him from Canada to enjoy a final reunion. Tomas accompanies Julian to all the “errands” that a departing person should be doing, from choosing the urn where his ashes will rest, to visiting his son in Amsterdam for his birthday, and most importantly seek a new home for his “second son”: his dog Truman.

Julian faces all of this with emotion but also with practicality and rationale. As an Argentine transplanted in Madrid, he has enjoyed years of stardom, working as an actor in Spanish film and stage productions. Now that he has to confront a real-life plot twist he is adamant in wanting to write his own last act.

The effectiveness of the black comedy is the way it is character-based, as well as the fact that Catalan director Cesc Gay has gathered an array of Spain’s finest character actors: Ricardo Darin, Javier Camara, Eduard Fernandez, Javier Gutierrez, Jose Luis Gomez, Elvira Minguez, Oriol Pla, Dolores Fonzi.

The choice of casting a sad-eyed boxer, is perfect for the melancholic dramedy, considering that throughout the narrative, man’s best friend is the unaware observer of his master’s departure. The loyal pet is the bystander of a tale of a friendship, where Tomas does not fully approve his friend’s choice in bringing his life to an end; but respects his decision and stays by his side with supportive attitude. This film does not portray the conventional carefree bromance. The male solidarity is vigorous, yet discreet, without ostentatious manifestations of exuberance, this is what makes it really poignant.

Technical: B+

Acting: B+

Story: B+

Overall: B+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Truman Movie Review

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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