Little Ashes Review (Spoilers)

For close to a year, this film has captured my imagination. From being a writer for the Little Ashes promo blog to waiting with anticipation to the reviews and the box office figures to discussing this film with anyone who was interested, I waited to see this film. I finally received my DVD and I spend close to an hour trying to figure out how to hook my laptop up to my TV, because I could not bear to watch this film on my small computer screen. Finally I watch as my laptop boots up on the TV screen. I am just dying of anticipation after waiting so long and now, I am finally going to be able to watch it and be able to comment on the film from my own experience and not from what I have read and heard.


I have to say, that I just loved it. It was exactly what I thought it was going to be “ a story" about the relationship between Salvador Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca. I felt that the story hit on all points of their relationship, and why it didn't progress and how it ended and how Lorca moved on, but Dali didn't, not really. Especially at the end with Dali painting his face with black paint, IMO symbolized the public mask that Dali wore through out his life, with his real feelings towards Lorca only coming out near his death, and occasionally in his paintings and his written work.


I thought Rob's portrayal of Dali was absolutely spot on. From his timidity upon arriving at the Resi, to how uncomfortable he was out with the others, to his comments at the dinner party, to how he felt about Lorca and the conflict that it raised in him, to his over the top style at the end, it was all Dali. You could tell Rob did a lot of research in order to play Dali as he was at the time of the film, not as he was remembered in his later life. It showed, not only in his body language, but in his face and eyes. The almost haunted look in his eyes when Lorca and Margarita are together and later when Lorca turns him down and leaves was amazing. The pain that Dali was feeling, both times, was so evident. In my reading about Dali, there would be times that I would think, how can he be so arrogant, out of touch, and such a jerk. But other times, I really felt sorry for him and pitied the life he chose to live, missing out on love (choosing Gala) for fame and money. Rob brought both these emotions out in me during the film, though it definitely was towards the side of sadness.


Javier's portrayal of Lorca was excellent too. His quiet demeanor, with a strong conviction underneath showed through-out the film. His feelings towards Dali and the depression he fell into when Dali left was quite evident too. And those eyes, so full of expression. I think that Matthew McNulty did a very good job with Bunuel, expressing his jealously of Lorca, then of Dali. Marina Gatell was also quite good in her role, adding a bit of spice to the film.


The scenery was beautiful, if a little dark at times and the music fit the scenes perfectly. I am wondering if any of the piano pieces were actually Lorca's “ I have to pay more attention to the credits next time I watch. I loved the costumes, (though I thought that Dali's were going to be more outrageous, based on what I had read), something about the white they dressed Lorca in, at the end, really was symbolic as he was a "light" to a generation.


And that ending, WOW, what can I say. I am not one who cries when watching films, and I did know how it would end, but when the radio announced that he was killed, the looks on his friend's faces and Dali's reaction, I had tears just running down my cheeks; every time that I watched it. Rob was absolutely phenomenal, maybe his best scene in the film.


I don't know which scene was my favorite, I really loved the scene when Dali and Lorca are dressed up with scarves on their heads, it's just so sweet. And the scene where Lorca is confronting Dali after he returns to the Resi from Paris is quite heart breaking.


My only complaint would have been with the timeline. The film jumped from here to there and a few times, I had to think for a moment, OK, where are we now. As I was writing about these men, I couldn't hit a 900 word limit if my life depended on it, so I totally understand why. There is just so much information to cover, spanning many years, and how do you incorporate that into a script for a film that is 90 minutes long, while still hitting all the important emotional scenes of Dali and Lorca's relationship really is quite beyond me. They did hit on almost everything, but it may have been a quick sentence or the addition of a character that may have gone un-noticed. The more that I watched the film, the more that I picked up. This film is just gets better and better each time that I watch it.

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