On Poetry and Culture Shock

Hollywood treatment for Spanish movies

Yesterday I saw Mar Adentro (the Sea Inside) at last. Its structure, its rhythm, is very Hollywood-like. Not surprising, since more and more movies everywhere follow American mainstream conventions in other to be more commercial. The happy endings, the timing of the emotional scenes, and the like. But still, this one is in some aspects recognisable non-Hollywood. Beware: here be spoilers, but in any case Mar Adentro is not the sort of film in which you care what happens next.

If Mar Adentro was an American film....

- The protagonist would be played by Tom Hanks. The character would have spent in bed 20 years at the most, 7 less than the Spanish one, so that he can look attractively in his early forties. There would be plenty of flashbacks to his fully-clothed younger self.

- The three female leads would be impossibly attractive and they would all look as if they were in their late twenties.

- The fantasy scenes would be much longer and they would include female nudity.

- The protagonist's main caretaker would be his wife or a friend, NOT a family member, and her love for the protagonist would be sexual or at least ambiguous in nature (when the Spanish actress says "I love him like a son" there is zero ambiguity).

- The female lawyer would have a long scene for a nervous breakdown, with tears and plenty of close-ups of her face. She would be single, not married, and definitely not married to a guy who adores her.

In one word: if Mar Adentro was an American film, the female characters would be little puppets!

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