Rama’s Screen: Film Review of Bella

Welcome to our weekly column by YSN member and movie aficionado Rama Tampubolon. He runs the movie review and discussion blog, Rama’s Screen, and was featured in “United 300,” which won for “Best Spoof” at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. He’ll discuss the latest hot topics and movie reviews every Thursday on Waste Time Wisely.

Independent movies usually have a way of surprising us. Some of the greatest nominees for Best Picture in the past were made with low budget. That’s why when I heard about the movie Bella, which has been around for quite some time, I was half curious about the story. I say “half” because I didn’t know what to expect so I chose not to get my hopes up. When I saw the trailer months ago, two things went through my mind: the main female star reminded me a lot of Hillary Swank and I wondered if this was a foreign language movie.

The Synopsis: A soccer player with a bright future has all his plans shattered to pieces in the blink of an eye. A waitress struggling to make ends meet is faced with the biggest decision of her life. Their lives collide and a day is all it takes for them to figure things out and make things right.

It’s not a foreign language movie although some scenes have subtitles for those who don’t speak Spanish.

Bella is the story of two individuals carrying burdens so heavy they don’t know how to go on with their lives. Each of them made a mistake and all of sudden this huge guilt holds them back so they become clueless of how to redeem themselves.

Most love stories we know would involve the hardship that comes from background differences of two people. Bella is pretty much the same but I think writer/director Alejandro Monteverde presented it in a way that’s not typical running on the sand or walking in the rain kind of romantic drama. Instead he brings up the aspect of a culture, in this case Mexican, and the healing power a family can have on those hurt by their past.

At times, the movie seems a bit slow. The dialogue may not be quite powerful but it’s profound enough to engage the audience’s attention and it makes us understand what the characters are going through.

The acting is brilliant and much props to the cinematographer who captures a flashback to an accident that makes us feel like we’re both the perpetrator and the victim. You’ll know what I mean when you see the film.

If you’re looking for a movie that deals with making critical choices of your life, then I definitely recommend this movie.

My grade for this movie is 4 out of 5.

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