A tauting black comedy with Surrealist touches. Bunuel's reworking of Benito Perez Galdos' novel, like all the works of this prolific filmmaker, has much beneath its surface. In a role that capitalizes on her placid beauty, Deneuve is a young woman who becomes the ward of hypocritical
aristocrat Rey, who makes much of the fact that he hasn't taken advantage of her beauty. The truth is--he has. Prior to receiving an inheritance from his sister, the more-or-less-impoverished Rey refuses to take a job because he believes a man of his social standing is above menial labor. Instead,
he sells all his belongings. At the same time he sees himself as a leader of the common man and makes great speeches to his cronies about improving the lot of the masses. Deneuve leaves the protection of Rey's home when she falls in love with artist Nero, but she is unwilling to make a commitment
to him, so she returns to Rey, who asks for her hand. After losing a leg because of a tumor, she accepts Rey's proposal and begins a passionless marriage despite her continued love for Nero.
Perhaps what makes this work so powerful is Bunuel's subtle use of key situations to represent much larger ideas. In comparison with such Bunuel masterpieces as VIRIDIANA and LOS OLVIDADOS, TRISTANA's assault on religion and politics is tame. Nevertheless, Bunuel's subtle presentation here (he
uses, very little camera movement and little music), effectively conveys a world in desperate need of change.
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- Rating: PG
- Review: A tauting black comedy with Surrealist touches. Bunuel's reworking of Benito Perez Galdos' novel, like all the works of this prolific filmmaker, has much beneath its surface. In a role that capitalizes on her placid beauty, Deneuve is a young woman who bec… (more)