9 June 2012 | secondtake
Modern Argentina made human and funny and touching...a sweet gem!
A wonderful, heartwarming, smart and funny film. Anyone would like this, so see it.
Two lonely young people in two nearby apartments in Buenos Aries are everything in this fairy tale feel good romance. A romance where the two characters have never met.
The city is lovingly brought to life through its buildings, most of them ordinary big city buildings much like the two characters are ordinary inhabitants. And the title, sidewalls (which is medianeras in Spanish for this home-grown Argentine movie), refers to the tall and often windowless side facades of the structures, including many apartment buildings, including the two where our hero and heroine reside.
So what goes on? You see the almost painfully lonely lives of two really likable people, wishing they could somehow meet. They have similar interests, they live near to each other, and they are both looking for love. Small things happen in the movie, little asides, but really the whole things is just this gradual accumulation of expectation. They really should meet, somehow, cross paths and recognize their parallel needs. The audience is totally convinced they are perfect for each other.
If only life would comply.
Director Gustavo Taretto, who also wrote the sly monologues and voiceovers for the movie (there is almost no dialog), originally made this as a short in 2005, running at half an hour, and it got rave reviews and won a slew of awards. So it was expanded here, and somehow it doesn't seem stretched too long even though the idea is the same (and the same lead actor was used, with a different lead actress). If there is any drawback to the movie, however, it is a slowly growing feeling that there is just this one clever situation at hand and it needs to resolve, or end, or something, to keep the incredible magic of the first half going.
Not that it exactly flags. The fairytale aspects get slightly improbable (as fairy tales do) by the last half hour, but it's exactly what you need. And then it's done, a fun and funny gem. It fits into a category of independent features worldwide using small casts, young actors and simple bright ideas. This is one of the best.