A Film That May Move You To Tears
BELLA is one of those unpredictable films that usually may not get noticed amidst an array of movie choices to watch. As the title states, it is a film about love that is deeply rooted love between friends and family. And it is a film about living, then losing, but regaining the American dream; we see the dream lived by one Puerto Rican-Mexican American family, which reveals their rich culture of family, food, language, and religion. Although most of the film is spoken in English, there are a few scenes in Spanish accompanied with subtitles. And it is fitting that the film takes place within the so-called melting pot that is New York City.
BELLA runs a little over 90 minutes, but there are plenty of complexities within the storyline. The film also confronts the issue of perceptions, and how people perceive one another without complete communication. As the film proceeds, the character's stories are intricately told in quick snapshots. The most interesting aspect of the film is how it starts at a fast pace revealing fragments of the main characters' lives, Jose (Eduardo Verastegui), a Chef, and Nina (Tammy Blanchard), a waitress, who work for Jose's brother, Manny (Manny Perez). One day Nina is 20 minutes late for work because she was very ill; unfortunately she gets fired without having to completely explain her situation -- she's pregnant. And this incident begins the film, and Nina's constant pondering of what to do with the rest of her life, keep the child or abort it, and Jose confronting his demons of a past life he left behind four years ago.
There are plenty of moving scenes in the film that tug at the heartstrings. However, there are two scenes that stood out. One of them is when Nina and Jose walk along the street and talk to a blind man who makes paper origami figures, and offers Nina a figure that looks like a frog. Not knowing that he is blind, it is only when he asks Nina to describe to him what the city streets look like, that she realizes his blindness, and the second is the surprise ending of the film. It is scenes like these that make the littlest or biggest tokens of kindness more meaningful in one's life.
Alejandro Gomez Monteverde wrote and directed Bella, and the film won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. After watching the film, it is worthy of an Academy Award nomination as well. Indeed, this is a gem of a film that any movie viewer may want to get a glimpse because of its excellent storytelling and film making.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
An Inspired Debut from a First-Time Director
"Bella" has come to mean a lot of things for many different people. To some, it is a pro-life film; to others it is an inspirational love story; to still others it is a Woody Allen-esque treatise on multiculturalism in New York City. Perhaps the film's interpretive nature is its most winning quality—a work of art that gets people talking after they leave their seats.
"Bella" follows José, a former soccer star who is working at his brother's restaurant after his career derails. José befriends Nina, who is fired after she shows up late for work, and together they spend the day in NYC together.
The film, from first-time director Alejandro Monteverde, is by no means perfect. Some complain that it is too idealistic; others point out plot holes and production values. Still, despite these flaws the film's core function remains the same: a conversation piece about topics ranging from immigration to abortion. It will be interesting to see where Monteverde's career takes him, and what future masterpieces might come from the mind of this rising Mexican director.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Bella is a wonderful film about a Mexican-American family, and two brothers who work in a restaurant, one of whom lost his potential great career after a tragic accident. The latter brother shows concern about a young waitress at the restaurant, played superbly by Tammy Blanchard, who is pregnant in the film and must decide about the baby. The ending strikes a strong emotional chord.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Bella-a beautiful movie
Bella pulls it off as far as being graceful and full of eternal values of pure friendship and selfless love. Samantha is a very talented actress and Eduardo and Manny played their parts very convincingly-Manny making you dislike him and Eduardo making any girl want such a sweet,loving guy with no ulterior motives-are there such men?? The Latinos want us to believe so,and this movie makes that point clear. There are some strange jumps from future to present and back again with no explanation as to what happened towards the end, but it's a very good enjoyable movie that will make you cry. I bought it for my daughter and Mexican son-in-law who are about to have their first baby and need the Lord in their lives.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Eduardo Verástegui! I always thought that this guy was not a good actor since his film chasing papi, ,but in this movie the guy was great,this is one of the best movies that has done as an actor and director!! He is a super hot Mexican actor,Papito super Hot Caliente!!!