Advanced Screening: Biutiful

WARNING: This will probably contain, what some would consider, spoilers.

I just got back from an advanced screening of “Biutiful” starring Javier Bardem and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. I don’t know what to say about this film except that i’m extremely let down; you have no idea how let down.

Alejandro González Iñárritu is the brilliant director behind one of my favorite films “Babel” and when I heard that he was doing this project I was psyched. Then they announced that Javier Bardem would be in the lead role and my anticipation doubled.

Then, tonight, I watched the film and what followed was a pile of mess so thick i’d implore you not to waste your time trudging through it. First of all the film’s run time is 147 minutes, but it feels like 4 hours. The plot is slow, confusing, and uninteresting.

Javier’s character Uxbal has two kids with a bi-polar, sex-addict that can’t be trusted with their safety. So he’s left her to live alone. To make it on his own he operates two exploitive businesses. One of the businesses is him over-seeing the creation of faux-luxary products by Chinese slave laborers, the other has him over-seeing the illegal African population that pedals the goods. That’s all fine and good, but then he also highlights as a medium that visits families to help their loved ones pass; the only thing is he’s actually telling the truth, we actually see the ghosts that he sees.

So we’ve got his 2 “real” jobs, then his job as a medium, then we’ve got his insane wife, then he learns that he has cancer. So while trying to do take care of all his businesses he’s also dying… It’s just too much.

None of the plots tie together smoothly enough, the film seems like it wants to go in twenty different directions that have nothing to do with one another and by the end you just feel exhausted.

As much as I wanted to like this film I just can’t. Perhaps you’ll have better luck with it than I did. If so that’s awesome. But if you want my honest opinion i’d pass.