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Mondays in the Sun

Starring: Javier Bardem, Jose Angel Egido, and Luis Tosar
Directed by: Fernando León de Aranda

 

 

Mondays in the Sun is a delightfully understated snapshot of life. Director/writer Fernando León de Aranda has captured a bit of the melancholy of displacement; the world unemployed people sadly share. Mega talent Javier Bardem leads a group of extraordinary actors as you're immersed in the slow paced tale - it's not unlike sitting back and just soaking in the sun, taking in life, on say a Monday afternoon …

Story goes…a local factory has closed and a group of friends try desperately to find meaning in their journey of life. They are now left to search out any job they can - and they are no longer young men. The continual decline of employment is leaching away at their self-respect.

Your heart aches in the knowledge this tale is little too close to reality as you watch the effects unemployment can have on a person's psyche. Strong men that now sit at a bar idling away their time talking about work or hunting down work as their worlds change without their approval.

Santa (Javier Bardem) is the strongest voiced of the lot. He is still angered, after two years of unemployment, at his ex boss's treatment of their citizens. He is an honest man filled with integrity and not afraid to speak his mind - even when it would be in his best interest to tone it down. He's at once a philosopher and a loser. And his spirit is slowly becoming bitter with each beer he drinks.

His friend Lino (Jose Angel Egido) is the oldest friend, and he's showing it gray hair and all. Still he plods forth trying to find a niche to sneak into. Each time a younger man gets the job his soul a little more black and blue…. sniff.

Santa's closest friend, Jose (Luis Tosar), is feeling the effects of worklessness as a debilitating worthlessness. His marriage is crumbling and his lust for life all but distinguished into an all too familiar scenario of "once was" cinders.'

The film's not depressing, as the above peak would have it seem. You simply drop in; join them, as they try to scratch their way out of oblivion. You can't help but draw conclusions as to each man's fate, whether it's being permanently be stuck in the suet in his personal gutter, or believing with another the dream of finding another job is still there, and for another he his sanity and future depend on his coming to grips with his past before he finds what can be.

Javier Bardem, a long established Spanish actor (best known for Before Night Falls and most recently The Dancer Upstairs ), is a manlyberry studmuffin of the sweetest caliber. On top of the delicious smoky brown eyes and rugged physique, he's also quite an ACtor. Jav is able to disappear completely into a role - even at the cost of his scrumptious uber manly beauty. As Santa, he sports a beer gut and a beard that would make Jack London cringe with dread at the food particles taking root from the winter before...

Jose Angel Egido's Lino will have your heart in your throat several times throughout his tale. A soft-spoken man who life seems to be hell bent on slapping upside the face. He's the everyman of the unemployed.

Mondays in the Sun is so thoroughly realistic you expect to look these fellows up in the local phone book. The acting is impeccable the script tight and brutally honest - warts and all. Bravo!

Snack recommendation: Beer and more beer to blind the sad truth of failure...

 

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