27 January 2006 | pachl
A brilliant, funny Spanish film
Hard to believe so much time has passed, but I saw "Esperame en el Cielo" at the Chicago Film Festival seventeen years ago! This movie is consistently funny and highly good natured. Of all the movies I've ever seen at film festivals, this one remains one of my all time favorites.
The story revolves around Paulino Alonso, a seemingly typical man who has the misfortune to resemble Spain's dictator, Generalisimo Francisco Franco. The government kidnaps Paulino and forces him to train as a double for Franco.
Paulino's overly strict trainer (Alberto Sinsoles) refuses to let him ever see his wife again, or lead any sort of independent life. He is condemned to forever make public (and sometimes dangerous) appearances for Franco.
Paulino and his trainer are absolute opposites. Paulino is compassionate while Alberto is a egotistical and heartless martinet. On one occasion, Alberto unconvincingly reassures Paulino that the coal mine he is supposed to visit is safe. Paulino wants to know that Alberto is going to enter the mine too. Aberto's blustering answer: "OF COURSE!!!!!..................not". I don't want to divulge any surprises in this movie, so watch it for yourself. You'll love this truly charming movie.
One curious note: historians have concluded that Franco certainly must have had a double (maybe even more than one). They deduced this from historic records such as newspaper articles describing Franco visiting more places in one day than was possible for the transportation technology at the time. Almost simultaneously, Franco was supposedly in one town, but also in another town hundreds of miles away, with no airport! Therefore, some of those visits must have been made by a double for Franco.
Hence, this movie might actually be relating real life events. Makes the movie even more interesting, doesn't it?