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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

VIOLA Review

Laura Paredes (Laura), Agustina Muñoz (Cecilia) y Gabi Saidón (Gabi) in Matías Piñeiro's VIOLA
Courtesy of Cinema Guild

2013, 65 minutes
Not Rated

Review by Joshua Handler

Viola is a peculiar little film by Matías Piñeiro and is a reworking of sorts of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.  This movie never clicked with me.  It isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination (I think many will be quite charmed by it), but I just didn't like it.  There was a second short film, "Rosalinda" showing after Viola, but I had absolutely no interest in staying for it, as I figured that time would be better spent writing you all this and other reviews than sitting in that theater.  

The way the story is presented makes it very hard to follow and decipher.  The story is not complex.  There is complexity beneath the surface, but on the surface it is simple.  There was something about it, though, that was disorienting to me and I will admit I had a hard time with it and was frustrated.  I cannot describe why it was disorienting.  The movie just came and went and before I could ponder why it didn't work for me, it was over.

The acting is all-around excellent, particularly in the scenes when Shakespearian dialogue is spoken.  In one scene, two actresses are rehearsing and their dialogue keeps repeating.  It is elliptical.  As the lines are repeated over and over, sometimes in different manners, it becomes more and more intense.  This was a subtly erotic scene that was played masterfully.  The actresses really had command of the Shakespearian dialogue and made it their own.

Overall, I just never connected to this movie.  I didn't hate it, but didn't like it.  I would definitely recommend that you see it, though, as you may find it a complete delight, as many have.  I believe the overall frustration I had with the narrative may make me revisit it sometime soon, as it is quick at 65 minutes.  I feel as if I missed something, and can therefore not really slam this movie without another viewing.  There was never a moment that was slow.  Most movies I dislike seem to last an eternity, but this didn't and props to director Piñeiro for keeping his film short. 


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