Spanish Film Festival favourite TRUMAN — Review

Originally published on The Creative Issue on the 7th of April.

This year’s Spanish Film Festival features Truman, a tragicomedy already making waves overseas with a slew of awards including Goya’s (think Spanish Oscars) Best Film, Best Director (Cesc Gay), Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay (Tomas Aragay, Cesc Gay).

The film’s premise is not unusual: dying man must come to terms with the inevitable. What sets Trumanapart are the performances from the main cast, their perfectly executed comedy and the strong, subtle celebration of male friendship.

Julian (Ricardo Darin) and Tomas (Javier Camara) are long time friends whose personalities oppose and complement each other at almost every turn. Tomas has established himself in Canada with a wife and children and travels to visit his terminally ill friend in Madrid for four days and perhaps reason with him about his decision to stop treatment.

However, Julian is stubborn and resolved. Together they work through the business of loose string tie ups — mainly, what to do with his dog, Truman, after his passing. Julian’s anxiety manifests itself in attempting to make the transition as smooth as possible for Truman as he frantically researches the effects of canine grief and auditions prospective posthumous adopters.

The film prompts us to consider questions that would arise if we were placed in the same circumstances as Julian. How do you deal with choosing where to be laid at rest? Would you feel compelled to find those you’ve wronged and apologise? How do you react to the way people treat you once they can ‘smell death’? How do you tell your child?

Alongside a great cast and wonderful script, this film will make you crave a trip to Madrid (and Amsterdam) with its stunning cinematography. Truman is a beautiful, funny, rewarding film that is absolutely worth the watch. You can see the film as part of this year’s Spanish Film Festival at the Palace Barracks and Palace Centro Cinemas.

Click here to watch the trailer.

If you’re in Brisbane and interested in checking it out, here are the details:

What: Truman at the Spanish Film Festival
Where: Palace Barracks and Palace Centro Cinemas
When: 19th of April to 8th of May
How Much: $14–19.50.
Website: Spanish Film Festival
More Info: Truman is a Spanish film with English subtitles.