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Perchance to Dream....
on 16 February 2003
This mesmerizing and origional Spanish film from director Alejandro Amenabar is about the life we dream of, and the life we're given, and the manner in which it is told is nothing short of brilliant.
Eduardo Noriega portrays a shallow bed hopping young man named Ceaser who has never given a second thought to real love until he falls for Sophia, who just happens to be the girl his best friend brings to his birthday party.
Penelope Cruz gives a sexy and luminous performance in her own language as the charming Sophia. Contrasting her is Najwa Nimri as the overtly sexual Nuria, the one night stand who has Ceaser's shallow number and refuses to just go away. She plays on his weaker personality by accusing him of being scared to take a ride with her for one last fling and the aftermath is a mind altering journey.
An apparently disfigured Ceaser finds himself in the criminal psychiatric ward after being accused of a murder he can't remember anything about. He tries to sort through his dreams, and possibly his memories, with the help of Antonio (Cheta Lera) and begins to slowly unravel what is real and what is imagined. To reveal more would ruin the journey for the viewer.
This film is a terrific thriller that ultimately becomes a heartfelt drama of what can happen when we put the emphasis on the shallow and realize the need for tenderness and love too late. The performances are solid, the fawn like grace of Cruz a standout, lifting this film far above its inferior American remake. The ending will linger with the viewer a long time.
This film is a fine argument for expanding your film library to include great foreign films such as this one. Pick this up as soon as you can.