Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Movie Review: "Sidewalls" (2011)

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Director: Gustavo Taretto
Year: 2011
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Martín (Javier Drolas) is a web designer living in Buenos Aires. He is a little neurotic and is looking for love. Mariana (Pilar López de Ayala) is an aspiring architect working as a window dresser. She is a little neurotic and is looking for love. They live right across the street from each other looking for the same things, and though they pass each other many times, their paths never seem to intersect as they partake in a series of failed dates and relationships. 

On a random Netflix day, we decided to check out "Sidewalls," which is a character sketch about two different people and their aspirations of, in, and for love. They often speak of their past failed relationships through voice overs while we watch them go about their lives over the course of a year. Martín, played by Javier Drolas, is a bit of a shut-in who spends his entire life both personal and professional online. He is obsessed with it and it is driving him father apart from society as a whole. Martín has his foibles, like a fear of flying and a little bit of social anxiety. Pilar López de Ayala plays Mariana, who has her own neurosis, like a fear of elevators, as well as an obsession with her Where's Wally book (Where's Waldo, for us Americans). Both of these characters are sympathetic in their own ways. Their anxieties make them stand out among the crowd, but they are also both sentimental and sweet in their own ways, too. Though Martín and Mariana are the two primary characters in the film, there is a third character that has a major role, and that is the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. This city plays a major role in the movie as Martín describes its unique architecture, including all of the classical artful buildings mixed with modern monstrosities and how it plays a part in their lives. He also compares these buildings to different personalities and how these rapidly change through urban development and commercialism. Mariana also uses stories of architecture as an allegory for love as she describes a building in Buenos Aires that was built purely out of spite over a failed relationship. "Sidewalls" is a rather unique love story about finding the perfect partner you were always destined to be with and we like the ideas this movie brings to the table. By using a mix of allegorical stories, personal experiences, voice overs, photographs, art and videos, their stories unfold as we watch them pass and overlap with each other's lives multiple times, but never quite get the chance to meet and explore one another. Though a foreign film, the indie movie feel is still very much there as it deals with a lot or quirky behaviors and concepts, almost along the lines of a Woody Allen type of project, but in South America instead of New York. If you like these different kinds of movies, or movies about relationships in a big, urban city, take a chance on this tender movie and you might be pleasantly surprised.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Transcendence"

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