Saturday, August 20, 2016

'Puzzled Love' DVD: One of Top 100 Film Movement Releases



The nature of the August 2, 2016 Film Movement DVD release of the 2011 Spanish modern romance drama "Puzzled Love" makes it being the one that got away hilariously apt. A suitable "wacky misunderstanding" is behind thinking that "Love" is a late August 2016 release. The better news is that "Love" earns a spot in the Top 100 Movement DVD releases.

"Love" charts the rocky romance between exchange college students Lucas and Sun during their year studying in Barcelona. The clever twist this time is that this quasi-real-time film is divided into segments that chronologically begin in the August at the start of the academic year and finish the following July; different directors take (sometimes wildly varying) approaches to the story. The best examples of this are the "Real World Barcelona" style August segment being fairly straightforward with good touches of humor, the September segment being more sitcom-style complete with a laugh track and multiple amusing incidents of being caught naked, and the (most innovative) January segment making awesomely artistic use of a split screen.

"Love" opens with our couple saying a tearful goodbye at the airport at the end of their studies in Barcelona; we then are taken back to the previous August where we see Sun and Lucas experience dislike at first sight. They are competing for the vacant room at the apartment that is the center of roughly 85-percent of the action throughout the film; this segment additionally clearly establishes that Sun is the boss.

The romance develops through the fall, and the November segment involves an especially well directed and acted story in which the American boyfriend of Sun visits. Our couple subsequently break down another wall that separates them only to later experience drama related to knowing that their relationship has a known (and fairly strict) expiration date. An additional segment depicts the best makeup sex ever.

The related impact and appeal of this modern love story are attributable to puppy dogish Marcel Borras and more stoic/aggressive Saras Gil playing their parts well. The scenes in which the heart of Lucas is breaking has the same effect on the audience, and we know that Sun doing her Jo Polniaczek act includes both those characters having hearts of silver under their tough exteriors.

On the proverbial larger level, "Love" stands out because it is experimental cinema that succeeds. Each segment flows together nicely in a manner that shows that the director of the "month" has a good understanding of both the characters and the the styles of the other 12 directors in the same manner that modern interpretations of Shakespeare that do not cause the Bard to roll over in his grave succeed. Only having an animated and a separate musical segment would have made "Love" any better.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Love" is strongly encouraged to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.