Monday, November 7, 2011

AFI FEST 2011: "Bonsai"

BONSAI (2011) ***1/2 92mins. D: Christian Jimenez. Diego Noguera, Natalia Galgani, Gabriela Arancibia

Julio meets Emilia at a party and hopes to impress her by lying that he reads Proust. A budding romance ensues. Eight years later, Julio is alone, in a casual relationship with his neighbor, Blanca, and struggling with his editing and writing career. After being fired from an editing job for a well-known author, he lies to impress his neighbor that he is still editing and proceeds to hand write his own novel about a man looking back on his first serious relationship.

The film jumps between Julio and Emilia's story eight years ago and Julio and Blanca's eight years later. The film itself is very much about Julio and how his relationships had foundations based on a lie. You'd think after doing it once, he'd learn from it and not tempt fate twice but I suppose it's in his nature.

I had intending on seeing another film but missed it so this was the next available screening. I knew nothing about it, I may have read the synopsis when the schedule was released but I didn't remember it. This turned out to be a very suitable alternative. Bonsai is well directed and written with good performances. It's a heartfelt romance about longing for the one that got away and how some circumstances are doomed to repeat themselves.

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