Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mondays in the Sun|
Actors: Javier Bardem, Luis Tosar, José Ángel Egido, Nieve de Medina, Enrique Villén
Director: Fernando León de Aranoa
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
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Yet another gem from Spain
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MONDAYS IN THE SUN can be viewed as a bleak moratorium lived out by shipyard workers in a Spanish community who have been laid off thier jobs without apparent reason. Some of the characters react by accepting menial jobs as temporizing, their wives work packing smelly tuna in cans, and others react with a venom that is only slightly beneath the skin and strike out at the establishment for allowing their jobs to be taken by cheaper foreign countries (ships will now be built in Korea). Sound familiar? Well, here in a minimal setting we have all of the chaos and loss of dignity of the unemployed of the world portrayed by a talented cast and directed with realistic fervor. Javier Bardem once again proves that he is a consummate actor, taking the lead role of a man without money, job, and respect and somehow finds humanism in this grim part. The story progresses slowly, not unlike the sad days of the men who while away their useless lives in a bar owned by on of their comrades. In this micro setting we are given macro feelings and emotions and a sense of camaraderie that overcomes the sadness of their lives. This is not an entertaining movie. This is a contemporary statement about a large part of our society and can't help but cause a twinge of association in all of us."
`All that we were told about communism was a lie', `but the
M. B. Alcat | Los Angeles, California | 09/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Mondays in the Sun", directed by Fernando León de Aranoa, is a movie where not much happens. Despite that, it is worthwhile seeing, and remembering...
Why?. Because it tells us the story of a group of friends, former workers in a shipyard, who were sacked from their jobs and are unemployed. The spectators will watch them look repeatedly and uselessly for a new job, and deal with being unemployed and old in a society where most jobs are for young people. As a result, viewers are likely to realize that having a job isn't only about earning money, but also part of who we are, to a certain extent. And in the case of most of these men, their identities are in need of a redefinition that gives their lives new meaning.
This story takes place in Spain, but it could have been set in many other places. "Mondays in the Sun" is a film about unemployment and friendship, and those are things that are everywhere. As such, you are highly unlikely to find the message of this movie irrelevant. Even if you have a job (and that is my case), you probably know that some people don't, and that they suffer the consequences of that lack.
It is pertinent to point out that this isn't a film that will make you laugh. It is somewhat gloomy at times, and the actors play well the roles of people on the edge, eager to strike out at whomever is near them. Santa (Javier Bardem) is specially impressive as a man who doesn't have a clue regarding what to do with himself now that he doesn't have a job.
Another of the characters of this story is Serguei (Serge Riaboukine), a former Russian astronaut who is in Spain looking for a job. Serguei tells the others a joke: "Two old party comrades meet and one says `All that we were told about communism was a lie'. The other says `Yes, but the worst thing is that all we were told about capitalism was true'. In that silly joke, said by chance, we can find the root of the problem that aflicts these men...
Truth to be told, "Mondays in the Sun" tells us what happens to those left behind by capitalism. Of course, capitalism is not always good, but all the other systems are even worse. However, that doesn't mean we can deny that our system has problems that must be solved. This movie gets that point across powerfully, and because of that I highly recommend it.
A reward only for patient cinema viewers
Govindan Nair | Vienna, VA United States | 09/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How can one one be entertained by a movie about the unglorious lives of four laid off shipyard employees in the grim setting of an economically depressed Spanish coastal city? Certainly, the slow pace of bar room banter coupled with the latent rage of the characters do not make for gripping drama. Yet, for the patient viewer, this award-winning Spanish movie becomes cinema verite at its best. The many subtle shades of human emotion and motives in the lives of these characters as they precariously tread in unemployment, are rendered with an unhurried pace which matches the reality they face daily of no real exit from misfortune other than to console themselves with each other. The movie turns out to be a winner!"
Eliana Staten | SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH United States | 06/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie in Barcelona, Spain in May 2003. It is so realistic. It portraits the lives of those without a job in Spain, but it also can reflect social reality in any country. The characters in the film are mature men sharing the same preocupation "el desempleo". We see their ordeals applying for jobs, but they never get them. They are frustrated. It is very touchy and it made me think for days. I give it 5 stars. Teneis que verla!"