SIFFest Journey – Thursday, 21 April 2005

21 Apr

(Siffest means that we won’t hear usual buzz of mobile’s ringtones like what we may usually experience in any other cinemas for any other screenings. Thanks to who? Us. Audience. C’mon, give a credit to ourselves, shall we?)

Indeed, so niche the market for Siffest is that we tend to see the same people patronizing Shaw Towers’ cinemas over and over again. Considering that these cinephiles would be willing to spend their piggy bank savings to lure themselves into film-indulgence session like this, chances are that we may see them again in any other festivals, be it the country-themed festivals in Singapore, or even within region. After all, my Bangkok Film Festival journey that I did a few months back wouldn’t be fruitful had Zefri been not around.

Yet, tonight I missed my chance to politely scrutinize the faces of audience, thanks to my stressed-out day I had had at work earlier. This means that I would crave for a nice, not necessarily healthy dinner, and that would take quite significant amount of time as a dinner would not be complete without chatterings with people that you care for.

But then, this is not Psycho or any Hitchcock’s films where you can’t afford losing the first few minutes. The film that slightly suffered from my unapologetic lateness happens to be a straight-forward drama from Argentina, and it’s about one Live-In Maid in Buenos Aires.

Live-In Maid

Now, we’ve often decided to watch a film because of its actor in the film, right?

Exactly. The main reason why the film got selected in my list, not to mention that I bought the ticket at a very last minute, was simply because of one name: Norma Aleandro.

I fell in love with her immediately after seeing her performance in Son of the Bride as an amnesiac woman who was introduced to experience love at first sight again to her husband of 40 years. Looking at her tiny figure in that film, I was taken by surprise to see her voluptuous hair style that transformed her as a demanding matriarch at the brink of bankruptcy in Live-In Maid. She dominates every scene she is in with her sharp facial expression that does not require any words to tell what her character is thinking of.

Her uncanny portrayal of a woman basking in good old days of her height to be crashed with current harsh reality of aging life seems to steal the spotlight from the main actress herself who carries the title role, Norma Argentina as Dora, the maid. Even if Argentina has to share the screentime equally with the more popular Aleandro, yet together they form a duet of class-act performance that elevates the already smart script to be a film so enjoyable, that eclipses the disturbing rough look of digital format the film reels in.

And now, if only I could’ve finished my dinner any sooner …

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Posted by on 04/21/2005 in English, Film


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