Mar Adentro [2004]

Mar Adentro is a beautifully shot and scored drama; its intensity matched with simple European charm. Now that I mention drama, Ramón Sampedro’s existence after an unfortunate diving accident is as hard a life as it gets, but the film’s treatment of his condition is at times overly melodramatic. As quadriplegic Sampedro, Javier Bardem gives a towering performance and is supported by an outstanding female cast (Lola Dueñas, Belén Rueda, Mabel Rivera and Clara Segura). Ultimately, what could’ve been a poignant observation on life and death is bogged down by the unconvincingness of it all, the underdevelopment of every character (except Ramón) and the marathonic length.