14 February 2003 | khatcher-2
In the splendid scenery of Asturias
Gonzalo Suárez has only really stood out in his superb TV adaptation of "Los Pazos de Ulloa" based on the novel by Emilia Pardo Bazán, and going by what other light fare he has produced to date, I did not expect much from "El Portero".
Which is what I got.
I cannot help thinking that if you get a bit stuck with the same old faces over and over again, your credibility wanes, to such a degree that you begin to question casting criteria. Carmelo Gómez seemed off key, and Antonio Resines has made a few films - not many - which are worth remembering, but above all seems to go in for more trivial matters. Together with Maribel Verdú and Elvira Mínguez - probably the best in this film - the cast would suggest being something like being called attractive. However, something failed to click; maybe because the film was on too late at night; maybe I have already seen too many films harking back to the Franco era.......
A supposedly famous goalkeeper from Madrid whose claim to fame stems from having stopped nine successive penalty kicks in league matches, turns up in the middle of beautiful post civil war Asturias, and gets entangled with the "maquis".
The "maquis" were groups of men, with a few women, who took to the mountains after the civil war, dedicating their time to blowing up or sabotaging anything which would upset the Franco régime. These groups mostly operated in Asturias, but also in Euskadi (Basque Country), Navarra, Cantabria (Santander) and a few in Galicia. To get an idea of their operations you might like to read Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls" set in the "sierras" north of Madrid, and also turned into a film. A few isolated "maquis" were still operating well into the 1960s. They lived on what they could hunt, what local people gave them, or what they stole.
The story being enacted just did not appeal to me very much and I could not suppress several yawns amid yearnings to tuck myself into bed just as soon as possible.
Magnificent photography in the splendour of Asturias, which alone made it worth while keeping with the film to the end credits.