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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful drama from Bunuel, 18 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Susana - (Mr Bongo Films) (1951) [DVD] (DVD)
Although far from being Buñuel best film, "Susana" is an excellent melodrama. Buñuel has managed to write a script that may appear to be a simple straight-foward studio film but uses the strength it has in the base characters and the way in which these characters are brought to the screen to show a film that is quite insightful, playing on deception, love and the strength of a family unit, from the violent beginning to the immediately satisfying ending. The casting is excellent throughout. Luis Somoza is great as love-lorn son Alfredo, Maria Gentil Arcos plays her role as the religious head maid who sees right through Susana's deceptive ways and is scared to let her know it and Matilde Palou puts in an excellent performance as wife Dona as we see the character slowly go from a doting woman who just wants to look after Susana to someone who eventually snaps and starts whipping her. The real stars of the show though are Fernando Soler as Don Guadalupe whose powerful screen presence at the right times allows the viewer to slowly watch a man fall in love with the much younger Susana, and Rosita Quintana, who, in the title role, plays Susana so well on so many levels. From exuding sexiness to allure the male characters, to the victim of escaping a 'rape' (she never, it's the lie she tells when she reaches the household for the first time in the rain), to being a downright nasty bitch, Quintana brings this film up a peg from your average melodrama. The score isn't overpowering and is typical for the genre. As a whole, some Buñuel fans may be disappointed by the lack of surrealism he is famous for, but as a melodrama, the films holds up very well, thanks to being clinically shot and the superb cast. 4/5
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