2004 - Spain - 100 minutes
Writers - Dominic Harari and Joaquín Oristrell
Director - Joaquín Oristrell
My Rating - 4 of 5 Stars
Spanish writers and filmmakers seem to have a special talent for combining tragedies of life with a special satirical dark humor. This film is a perfect example. It has everything in just the right amounts - mystery, thrills, love, sex, humor, tragedy - all topped off with a pleasurable tongue-in-cheek look at Freudian psychology.
It is 1913 Barcelona, and all the intelligentsia of the city are a titter over the upcoming visit of Sigmund Freud. One who should be leading the excitement is León, a Freudian psychologist who has just been made director of the local medical center, but he is missing. His very pregnant wife, Alma, enlists the help of her brother-in-law, Salvador, to find her missing husband. The only clues that they have are the files on four female patients. Thus begins a very humorous "buddy mystery" with the most unlikely buddies of Alma and Salvador.
To relate the twists and turns of the plot would spoil the film for anyone interested in a viewing. There is no great mystery, and it's fairly easy to figure out the dynamics of what is going on before the characters in the story, but it is all great fun with many, many deliciously sarcastic barbs of Freudian theory.
One of the very interesting extra features on the DVD is a talk by a psychologist in which he discusses - oh, so seriously - the psychological problems of the characters in the film. At first, I thought that this was a humorous parody put on the DVD in order to further entertain the viewers, but then I realized that the doctor was very serious in his assessments. As far as the film was concerned, he just didn't get it.
If you have a strong psyche and love satirical dark humor, I'm sure you'll enjoy Unconscious.
August 6, 2007