The Hidden Face (Review)

It’s been a while since the last time we came out of a movie and said “WOW, what a story!” Actually, it’s been a while since we last watched a movie of this sort in our cinemas. With the abundance of Hollywood films booming all over, we hardly ever notice what other cultures has to offer anymore. After watching the latest Spanish movie “La Cara Oculta” (The Hidden Face), you can’t but realize how unfortunately clinging only to Hollywood films is keeping us away from so much art and creativity.

Adrián (Quim Gutiérrez), a Spanish orchestra conductor, is heart broken after his girlfriend Belén (Clara Lago) leaves him ambiguously and disappears mysteriously in Columbia after a couple of days of moving into a big beautiful house with him that initially belongs to an old lady, Emma (Alexandra Stewart).

Director Andrés Baiz took advantage of the story’s chronology of events and succeeded in moving away from anything cliché in terms of style. We might be getting used to watching movies that are out of chronological order but, we are still not used to watching repetitive scenes out of chronological order and from different perspectives in the same movie. It was a crazy risk that Baiz took but, the result was incredibly beautiful. Had Baiz abandoned this style, the movie wouldn’t have been this effective. His style gave more life and thrill to the story.

While trying to deal with his depression, Adrián meets Fabiana (Martina García) and develops a fast relationship with her. In the first part of the movie, we see the clueless Fabiana constantly scared of the water at Adrián’s house.

What was obvious since the very beginning, especially in the effect chosen for the movie title, is that Belén’s disappearance has something to do with water. But what and how is that possible? In order not to spoil the big mystery completely, here’s a hint:

Emma had a husband and was so jealous of all the women in his life just like Belén is jealous of the women that Adrián encounters. Before leaving town, Emma showed Belén a secretive way to test Adrián’s fidelity. However, Belén’s fate transformed her excitement into a big disappointment. Jealousy didn’t kill her but, it definitely killed the magical life she could have had with Adrián. What Fabiana had to do with all this is that she holds the key to a second moral that is: Circumstances can shift at any moment. You may be a bird who eats ants today but when you’re dead, ants are going to eat you.

That’s enough spoiling! The Hidden Face will uncover the rest. Do not miss it since good movies like that one sadly are not always showing. It will give you a different taste of filmmaking, and will spin your head with its impressive script.

(The movie is originally in Spanish but, it will be showing in English.)

by Miriam Atallah.



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