22 February 2013 | ma-cortes
Sensitive and touching motion picture though with some depressing moments
El Bola, a 12 year old boy named Pablo (Juan Jose Ballesta) suffers problems at home . Embarrassed by his family life, he avoids becoming close to classmates. The arrival of a new boy (Pablo Galan) at school changes his attitude towards his classmates, and friendship. Pablo befriends Alfredo , and both of whom share amusing as well as unhappy experiences . The heart of the story is the change in El Bola's life, at almost all levels, after befriending this new classmate . El Bola or Pablo suffers bruises and scars but he is too afraid to confess that has been beating . Pablo does not come to school for a week and Alfredo and his his father (Alberto Jimenez) become deeply concerned for him .
Dramatic film dealing with domestic violence , friendship , parents-sons relationship and many other things . This is a perceptible and enjoyable portrait of a pair of big city kids, reminiscent of François Truffaut's 400 blows (1959). The picture achieved big success - both public and critical - and getting several prizes as national : Goya Award as international : Prix la Présidence Belge De l'Union Européenne 2001 and Nominé Pour Grand Prix Festival de Montpellier . Agreeable performances by entire cast as Juan Jose Ballesta as a deeply abusive boy at 12-year-old raised in a violent and sordid environment , Alberto Jimenez as a fun-loving Bohemian daddy and Manuel Moron as a tyrannical father . Colorful and appropriate cinematography by Juan Carlos Gomez . Emotive and adequate musical score by Eduardo Arbide , Achero Mañas' usual musician .
The motion picture was compellingly directed by Achero Mañas , a prestigious actor and filmmaker . Achero first followed in the steps of his mother, actress Paloma Lorena who played in two of his films, and his father , a notorious producer named Alfredo Mañas , but he soon turned from thespian to filmmaker. He made three shorts before meeting a big hit as ¨El Bola¨ that is dedicated to Laura Mañas . His second feature ¨Noviembre¨ (2003) also garnered least five awards but he was less successful with ¨Blackwhite¨ (2004). After five years in the wilderness, Mañas is making a come back with "Anything You Want" (2010). Rating : Better than average , well worth watching .