Truman – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

August 9, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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“Truman doesn’t sound very Spanish” said my friend.  It turns out to be the name of a dog and the ostensible focus of this delightful film.

From the opening shots of a Canadian snow-covered landscape to the warmer climes of Madrid, few shots are wasted in this outing from director and writer Cesc Gay. as he and co-writer Tomas Aragay present a tale of male friendship and acceptance.

Julian (Ricardo Darin), an actor lives in Madrid.  When he receives an unexpected visit from old friend Tomas (Javier Camara) from Montreal, the two spend four days reigniting their friendship as Julian faces difficult decisions.

Julian’s cancer has returned and he needs to find a permanent home for his beloved dog, Truman.  He needs Truman settled to his complete satisfaction and all he requires from Tomas is to accompany him wherever he goes.

Paula (Dolores Fonzi ), Julian’s cousin, hopes that Tomas will persuade his old mate to keep on with chemotherapy but  on  their visits to the oncologist and vet, Tomas comes to realise that Julian needs to conduct what is left of his life in his own way.

It is not easy to take on a large, mature animal but when a prospective family want to give the dog a test run immediately and take him overnight, Julian is bereft at letting his companion go, even for a night.

Visiting a fancy funeral home to make arrangements, they are surprised by how many options are available for lasting repose.  When Tomas admits he came because his wife told him he would regret it if he didn’t grab the chance to say goodbye, Julian is neither insulted nor gratified. He has learned to face unpalatable truths about himself and wants to make amends for his mistakes.

The friends take a day trip to Amsterdam to see Julian’s son and while the visit doesn’t quite go as planned, there is a sense of rightness about it.

The heart of the story is the friendship between the two men. There is little room for sentimentality and it’s an exercise in charm and restraint.  Camara conveys much by his stillness and quiet intensity.  Darin is perfect as a man gracefully facing the passing of his glory days.  This may be a story of an ending but it much more than that.

3.5/5  109 mins  2015 Rated MA15+

In Spanish with subtitles

Starring Ricardo Darin, Javier Camara, Dolores Fonzi

Directed by Cesc Gay

Script by Cesc Gay, Tomas Aragay




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