Directed by Paula Ortiz
Country: Spain / Germany
Paula Ortiz’ sophomore feature, “The Bride”, is a good enough dramatization of Federico Garcia Lorca’s 1933 Spanish tragedy “Blood Wedding”.
The screenplay, written by Ms. Ortiz and Javier García, is packed with emotional charge and suffocating atmospheres in a film that exhibits arid landscapes, eroded houses, and a love triangle that ends up in a terrible adversity.
Despite the mediocre musical score, the final product can be pronounced as artistic due to the beautiful cinematography, efficient camera work, and a well-streamlined editing. However, Ms. Ortiz could have dropped the intense theatrical approach in favor of something a bit more cinematic and even contemporary. Moreover, the two male protagonists, Álex García and Asier Etxeandia, couldn’t match the performances of Inma Cuesta and Luisa Gavasa.
Three childhood friends, a woman and two men, see their lives dangerously standing at the edge of an abyss when two of them decide to marry each other. The bride (Cuesta) and groom (Etxeandia), whose names are never revealed, are apparently happy and exchange promises of eternal love. Yet, the reality is quite more complicated than that, since their friend, Leonardo (García), who’s already married to the bride’s cousin (Leticia Dolera), can’t hide his true love. The bride is also divided and can’t refrain the uncontrollable attraction that is triggered whenever Leonardo is around.
So, it's no surprise to anybody that the wedding is a big mistake and is condemned to fail.
On her wedding night, Leonardo takes her on horseback to the woods in order to commit the sin that will ruin their lives forever.
The supernatural component is successfully added with the presence of the spirit of an old hag who distributes glass knives so that justice can be done.
With reference to the performances, the groom’s bitter mother (Gavasa) was the one who impressed me most.
Appealing to the senses, “The Bride” conveys fate, guilt, and anguish with relentless fixations but fails to build an impactful crescendo. Curiously, the beginning of the film is much more capable than the ending because something is lost in the middle. Still, this was decent enough to deserve a peek.