Biutiful review


            Of the Three Amigos, the trio of Mexican filmmakers to come into success in the last decade, I have the most difficult time with Alejandro González Iñárritu. As competently made as the films may be, I can’t take the heavy-handed tragedy which occurs in the filmmaker’s narrative. With Amores Perros being the least dramatic narrative, Iñárritu followed up with the depressing 21 Grams and devastating Babel. These are films which are far easier to admire than they are to enjoy, and Biutiful fits perfectly in the auteur filmography of Iñárritu.

            The international filmmaker has this film take place in Barcelona, where Uxbal (Javier Bardem) struggles to set the future right for his children before he runs out of time. Unable to rely on his wife, an unpredictable and impulsively cruel woman with more than one personality/addiction issue, Uxbal tries to find another suitable situation once he is gone, using all of his resources as a small-time criminal in order to make extra money.

            This storyline is bleak enough, but there is an added personality trait giving to Uxbal which makes for added paranormal depression. Able to see the dead and know what is keeping them around, Uxbal makes extra money on the side. But this ability can also be somewhat of a curse for him when death surrounds him and he is responsible. The ghostly apparitions are something between Asian horror and The Sixth Sense. They are not harmful in any way, but simply have unresolved issues which keep them near.

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