Review / ‘Truman’ (MA) *** and a half

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%22Truman%22 movieIN 2013, I gave three stars to “A Gun In Each Hand”, in which Spanish filmmaker Cesc Gay told a story about eight men dealing with identity crises. In “Truman”, Gay again tells about men in crisis, this time in a more focused plot.

Tomas (Javier Camara) arrives unexpectedly from Canada to visit long-time friend Julian (Ricardo Darin) in Barcelona. Julian has just told his GP that he wants to deal with metastasising carcinoma in his own way, without medical attention or prolongation of life. The film follows the pair for four days, during which they reminisce about places, events and people. They travel to Amsterdam to see Julian’s student son. They meet old friends, including Julian’s ex-wife. Julian’s current wife Paula (Dolores Fonzi) is living apart. One of the film’s most perceptive moments takes place on the day Tomas is leaving to return. Tomas and Paula have spent the previous night together. Julian’s remark is a great, very short, one-liner that says much about all three people.

And why is the film called “Truman”? Truman is Julian’s bull-mastiff, a big lollopy fellow who depends on his people. Julian’s dilemma is about finding someone suitable to care for him after Julian passes.

Camara and Darin played principal roles in “A Gun In Each Hand.” Watching them together in a credible screenplay is a fine satisfaction. They and Gay form a team we should hope to see again.

At Palace Electric

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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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