Review of The Sea Inside directed by Alejandro AmenAjbar and written by Mateo Gil and Alejandro AmenAjbar
Rating **** 1/2
This is a Spanish Language film with subtitles starring Javier Bardem. The film is based on the true story of Ramon Sampedro who at the age of 26 became a quadriplegic as the result of a diving accident. It is a right to die story. Ramon lived as a quadriplegic for twenty-eight years. At the age of 54 he decided that he no longer wanted to live his life with the constraints of his physical condition. Thus began a legal battle over a person’s right to die and the consequences that might follow to those who aided in his death.
The film doesn’t take sides on the issue. The director simply tells the story from Ramon’s point if view. The viewer is left to decide for themselves if it was the right decision. The film also touches on the question of what exists or doesn’t exist after death.
Javier does an excellent job. He portrays Ramon with dignity, humor, and charm. The supporting actors do a fine job as well. The one character who pulled me out of the story briefly was that of the lawyer Julia. It wasn’t her performance but my lack of credulity with the character and her background. If she was based on a real character, then it truly is a remarkable story. But the fact that she too was dealing with her own serious illness and that she was contemplating ending her life as well seemed beyond belief.
Some of the best executed scenes are where Ramon fantasies of being able bodied and making love to Julia. I especially liked the flying scenes.
I’ll admit that I had some tears at the end. They weren’t tears of sympathy but tears of empathy. And you can’t ask for more from a film.
The DVD had an interesting making of documentary that showed glimpses of the real Ramon. It too had subtitles, but it was well done and informative. I’d definitely recommend that you add this one to the que.