“Bella” Movie Review
By Michael Aaron Gallagher
When you forget you’re watching a movie, and the story is as real and delicately woven as a documentary, you know you are seeing a good film. “Bella” (Winner of the “People’s Choice Award” at the Toronto Film Festival) charmed audiences with its character and authenticity.
The movie begins with the quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” On the surface, it is a simple story about how two lives intersect, providing redemption and healing to both. But “Bella,” is more than that. It is a surprisingly meaningful and complex film, in the way it illustrates how the past can actually prepare us for meeting our own destiny.
“Bella” is about Jose (Eduardo Verástegui) a professional soccer player, who suffers a great tragedy that removes all the passion and purpose from his life. As his father so eloquently says, “Without passion you cannot play soccer.”
When he takes a job working for his brother Manny, as a Chef in a New York City restaurant, he crosses paths with Nina (Tammy Blanchard), another wounded soul who is struggling to survive. The two characters are transformed by each other, both choosing to embrace a new life for themselves.
“Bella” is about tragedy, and how it can damage the soul of a person and remove the joy and passion from their life; but more importantly, it is a story about how that passion can once again be reborn.
Director, Alejandro Monteverde doesn’t rush the scenes or the dialogue. Instead, “Bella” is a piece of art, that is allowed to simmer to the very end. With an uplifting message, it demonstrates the true beauty of humanity and the difference each of us can make in the world, through the power we have to restore each other.
“Bella,” starring Eduardo Verástegui and Tammy Blanchard, is now available on DVD, with bonus features including how the movie made it to the big screen.
“Bella” Movie Review
Copyright © 2008 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
Photograph: Courtesy of Roadside Attractions
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