Thursday, 23 December 2010


Directed by: Jose Corbacho, Juan Diaz
Spain 2005

When I'm asked what is my favourite movie, it usually costs me to answer, since simply there isn't one. There are so many completely completely different movies that I consider very good and I could identify as one of my favourites. "Tapas" is definitely one of them, so natural and simple, yet excellent.

Whole story takes place over couple of hot days in the typical neighborhood of L’Hospitalet de Llorbregat in Barcelona, Spain, but it could be any district, any city and any summer. What we are getting it's a mix of few events in and around a tapas bar, a small market, and local shops. It doesn't really make sense to tell what those stories are about, the true is that everyone could be the protagonists of that movie. The success of the film can be attributed to directors Jose Corbacho and Juan Cruz who keep the characters, emotions and situations so real. Stories that happen in Hospitalet de Llobregat could happen anywhere in the world. All issues that this film is touching are common to all people: loneliness, death, love, sex, friendship, envy, compassion, hope ... Universal themes that are close to all of us.

The title obviously refers to local tapas bar, around which all characters mingle, but it actually has a double meaning. When asked about it the authors responded:

"We have always believed that behind every person who crosses the street (your neighbour or a cab driver) there is a story worth telling. And if you follow that person to your home and share with them moments of his life, this story will grow, because then you will know things that you didn't notice the first time you met this person. We never quite know what happens to our neighbor living across the street or even our co-worker. In this society everyone "cover" (in spanish "tapar") something and our characters do this as well. This film tries to explain small stories that happen to normal people".

"Tapas" touches a very important social problems like euthanasia, drugs, prejudices towards immigrants. But its tone is much less formal. It shows that the border between comedy and tragedy, between laughter and tears is very, very thin. Because it is very hard to tell whether it's a comedy or drama. Rather comedy but with tough moments. In the end how to define a film that at times presents hopelessness, loneliness, isolation, and yet you laugh at it?

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