La Niña Santa (1/10)
by Tony Medley
The only thing wrong with this
106-minute movie is that it’s 105 minutes too long. The opening titles are
clever. Written and directed by Lucrecia Martel, this thing has no
premise. I must have aged ten years sitting through this. Apropos of
something with which Pedro Almodovar is involved, this has lots and lots
of long scenes of people thinking. No dialogue, just thinking. I don’t
find that entertaining.
Advertised as a sexual “coming
of age” tale about teenage girls, in fact it’s just a very long film that,
if you sit through all of it, should serve as enough suffering to remit
all of the temporal punishment for your sins so you can go directly to
heaven when you expire.
Compounding that, all the
actors, save Mercedes Morán, who plays Helena, are unattractive. Helena is
having a fling with Dr. Jano (Carlos Belloso), who rubs up against
Helena’s daughter, Amalia (Maria Alché), who feels guilt, but attraction,
at her first sexual encounter. Dr. Jano feels guilt about it, too. As near
as I could determine, that’s the story. I had an extremely difficult time
concentrating as my mind kept wandering to extraneous matters. I thought
maybe my friend, who speaks Spanish, was enjoying it and the reason I
wasn’t was due to inaccurate subtitles, which were hard to see because
they often blended in with the background. But after the film she said she
thought it was long and boring, too, and that the subtitles were accurate.
She did say, however, that it was an accurate portrayal of young women in
Worse, the film cowards out at
the end. After sitting through this entire debacle, we are deprived of the
confrontation promised with Dr. Jano as the film ends with Amalia and her
girl friend floating on their backs in a decrepit swimming pool as her
friend’s mother waits to see Helena and Dr. Jano to make the accusation.
I can’t think of one reason to
waste time seeing this.
May 4, 2005