Movie : El Encuento (The Embrace)
Director : Nahyr Galaz Ruiz
It is therefore senseless to think of complaining since nothing foreign has decided what we feel, what we live, or what we are.”
The statement by Jean Paul Sartre beautifully sums up the story of El Encuento. The embrace gives us a reason to live, an even bigger reason to smile. The title of the movie suggests an embrace, a coming together of hearts, of souls , of lives once lost in the hopeless abyss of time.
The Embrace can also suggest a sense of profound acceptance. An indication of finding love around, getting the better of our fears and celebrating life.
The story revolves around a fifty two year old with an opulent amount of dreams concealed in the darkest corner of her heart. The secret that is given away by her bright eyes.
She is forced to join a tango class by her son where she meets an old friend. She can see the light again, she can dream in the open. She must embrace the new road and perhaps make another attempt to contemplate the meaning of happiness.
The script is full of colours notwithstanding the brutal and relentless darkness. However it also indicates man’s leap from the nadir of nothingness to the zenith of ecstasy.
The characters have been dexterously written. They jointly convey the message of hope. They do so by participating in a journey from futility to meaning, from darkness to light.
The performances deserve a special mention as it played a crucial role in successfully conveying the messages in the movie.
There are a myriad of themes that can be found in the movie. Every theme performs a specific function and a profound message or two are fathomable in them.
It beautifully portrays the relationship between a mother and a son. The son is aware of the loneliness that has acted as a singular potent antagonist perpetually in the life of his father. He is also aware of the fact that she misses her husband (his father) who died five years ago. Her son is aware of it and tries desperately to put a smile back on the face of his mother. A smile is not enough for the son. He wants her to accept her loss and possibly dance away her agony. He tells her that he has enrolled her for a tango learning course.
The movie briefly discusses the theme of Solitude and confinement. It suggests that we are at times confined between the walls of a gigantic invisible prison. The prison of loneliness. While some of us are accepting our loneliness, some are looking past it.
As Satre suggested in his works, Ana must make the meanings of her own life, according to her son.
The theme of loss and fear can also be found in the movie. Clearly Ana has suffered a lot post losing her husband. She has also made an attempt to not bother her son about her problems. Her Solitude has also inserted a humongous amount of fear in her. She doesn’t go out a lot, she doesn’t have a lot of friends.
However, by the end of the movie, a well intentioned conspiracy planned by Ana’s son and his friend in the form of a tango class, makes Ana realise the importance of giving life a second chance. She meets an old friend and probably finds some joy after a very long time. Her smile regains the colour that was lost for a long time.
One must appreciate the technical aspects of the movie, specially the background score.
The background score indicates colour, playfulness, life and celebration. It takes one out of the darkest alleys of despair.
According to the director, one must embracing the inevitable with a smile and perhaps a little tango. Ana towards the end of the movie confesses : ” I don’t like to have regrets”. It is a clear indication of an Epicurean thought process. A celebration of life by looking past limits and seizing the day (Carpe Diem).
The embrace delivers a simple and potent message. It tells us how we must transgress the ossified walls around us and give life a second chance. We must welcome it in all its splendour, and perhaps a little agony. We must look past the shackles that impede us and make the little time we have on this planet, a beautiful one. Perhaps the road ahead would still be a rough one. It might still make us suffer. Yet we must never stop looking for the little things, the rare opportunities of finding mirth. As the title of the movie suggests, we must embrace fate (which is also the last word in the movie) wholeheartedly.