5.0 out of 5 stars
Unforgettable!, 27 Aug 2010
I have never seen such a wonderfully acted and gripping film. It had everything and takes one through the whole gamut of emotions. Set between 20s and 70s,it tells the story of a young girl who has a gift. This is the ability not only to love others, but to make love her reason for being. This gives her a tolerance of others and an inner knowledge about them which would escape most of us. She grows up (Streep)with the gift of second sight and the ability to see spirits. She marries(Banderas) who owns a large Estate. He is abusive and cruel to his workers and ferociusly beats them for dissent when they ask for more pay as well as rapes a young girl which only further inflames them.
Streep's life, and that of her husband and growing daughter is set against the backdrop of increasing social and political unrest in a fictitious South American Country. The young leader of the unrest dreams of a utopian democracy instead of the existing cruel dictatorship. His efforts are futile, and savagely put down by a military Junta.
Parts of this film are not for the faint hearted. There is violence and cruelty, but all in context and never gratuitous. The graceful and loving nature of this woman played by Streep beautifully provides a foil to the horror and barbarity portrayed by others in this drama - but I won't tell you any more as I do not want to spoil the story! However I felt the richer for seeing it. Streep's magical gift was totally believable, and her husband (Banderos) was finally redeemed as he arranged the escape of his daughter and her lover.
I shall keep this film and go back to it and probably see more and more within it everytime I view it. I bought the Video as I have a Video player still, but will buy the DVD for my daughter.
The film is beautifully scenic, the pace never lags and is totally unforgettable. Where was the Oscar for this film? I'd not heard of it at all and I was alive and kicking in 1993!!
What else can I say? I have negatively criticised a few films, but not this one! Highly Highly recommended!!