I must admit that watching these two films one after the other during the course of one night must rank as one of the worst film viewing decisions in the world. But the opportunity presented itself and as both films came highly recommended and I did not want to miss either.
Assuming ‘Borat’ to be the lighter and the more amusing option we saw it first. I don’t know what to say of the experience. The jokes got tiresome after about the first 3 minutes and my innings with the film lasted a total of 22 minutes. There are only so many times one can hear an unfunny joke. That the filmmaker thought references to Borat’s sister and her ‘Vagin’ as being funny enough to be repeated about 5 times in the first 15 minutes is a reflection of how bad the film was. But obviously I am missing something. This film was a huge hit internationally. Why and how is a question I will ponder over for a very long time.
In contrast ‘The Sea Inside’ was a beautiful film. This was another case of a Spanish filmmaker’s deft handling of a very difficult subject with consummate ease. There were no major tears or hysteria as the filmmaker went about telling his story in a simple and concise manner. There was a lot to say about a very touchy subject but the filmmaker did not resort to any melodrama or theatrics which one would normally associate with a film dealing with euthanasia. To take a really shocking and tragic incident and to deal with it in the most matter of fact way seems to the way with Spanish directors. Having grown up on tearjerkers from both Hollywood and Bollywood the Spanish way of making films comes as a breath of fresh air. Hats off to them for showing us another kind of cinema.