Eye For Film >> Movies >> Blue Eyelids (2007) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
Blue is definitely the colour for this rather melancholy, if ultimately sweet take on romance. Marina would out-tiptoe a mouse. Buttoned up and introverted, it's amazing she even goes to work. That she does, however, puts her in a fix, when the company director - an ageing doyen, who claims a little bird told her to begin her sewing business, makes an annual draw, with the winner getting an all-expenses paid swanky trip for two to the beach. The boss - who lets a bird select a winner by drawing the name out of a 'hat' with its bill - calls it an "opportunity to find happiness" but for Marina it quickly comes to symbolise how isolated she has become.
Before winning, she was lonely and timid, yet living in the kind of self-denial that can get you through life, if you're careful. But once the prize is given, it throbs like a heartbeat, daring her to join its rhythm. At first, she sees a way out of her own not-so-gilded cage in the form of her sister, but when a visit reveals that water is thicker than blood, after all, she finds herself back at square one.
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Desperate times call for desperate measures, which is where the second lonely heart of the piece comes in. Victor - who meets Marina by chance in a coffee shop - insists they went to school together, despite the fact she can't remember him and is suitably startled when, in a move which seems to shock her as much as him, she suggests he comes with her on the trip. Still, seeing in her a reflection of his own loneliness, he agrees. Victor is somehow extrovert in his introspection, as eager to talk as Marina is to pull at the tufts of their picnic blanket when they go for a day out. And yet, there's something about the two of them that draws them together and, in turn, draws the audience to them.
Cecilia Suárez and Enrique Arreola are excellent in the central roles, capturing the paradoxical fragility and stoicism of Marina and Victor, helping us to sympathise with them even when they are their own worst enemies. Good support is provided by Ana Ofelia Murguía as the ageing businesswoman Lulita whose lottery draw leads to the action. Although scenes with her initially seem extraneous, they quickly come to echo the lives of Marina and Victor as we see that Lulita, too, inhabits a delicately constructed cage of her own.
Ernesto Contreras keeps the pacing slow and deliberate, meaning this will by no means be for everyone. But the will they/won't they nature of the romance - so different in essence to your average Hollywood hug-in as chalk from chihuahuas - is beguiling for those who can cope without the usual romcom signposts. The humour here is situational and as gentle and brittle as the central protagonists. While not laugh-out-loud funny, the film is embued with a wistful air that is ultimately life-affirming. This won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2008 and has a similar vibe about it to the equally offbeat love story found in fellow Sundance alumni Good Dick. Although too understated to make waves in the mainstream it is well worth looking out for at your local arthouse cinema.Reviewed on: 17 Mar 2008