Even The Rain - DVD Review

'sterling stuff for film students and the casual observer alike'

A very interesting mash of message, form and experimentation, Even The Rain plays with expectations, preconceptions and structure from beginning to end. That it does this whilst controlling its sometime complicated narrative - which takes in everything from first world exploitation of the developing world to water crises in South America - is ever more impressive. This is sterling stuff for film students and the casual observer alike.

Icíar Bollaín's film begins with idealistic director Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and cynical producer Costa (Luis Tosar) arriving in Bolivia to shoot a film about Christopher Columbus' discovery of the new world. As the former works to tell a story about colonisation, religion and Columbus exploitation of the natives, the film crew begin to take on the roles of their subjects. Bolivian non-actor Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri) is cast as Atuey, leader of the natives, but is simultaneously leading a rebellion in the real world against a government who want control of 'even the rain'.

Bollaín uses this setup to pose awkward questions which both Sebastián and Costa struggle to answer. Are they exploiting their crew, or giving them opportunity? In telling a tale of past exploitation, are they obligated to combat that which they see before them? In what quickly becomes a dangerous situation, can they justify endangering themselves, the cast and crew to make an 'important' film?

As Even The Rain and its fictional crew search for answers, Sebastián and Costa's roles change and develop in fascinating directions. To go further would be to spoil it but, driven on by the alcoholic actor playing Columbus (Karra Elejalde, who is excellent), Costa begins to question his place, his attitude and his treatment of Daniel.

In the end, perhaps some of the outcomes are predictable, but Bollaín nevertheless excels in investigating them. As the action ramps up, and ever-more difficult questions are mulled over by all involved, Even The Rain becomes a significant piece of thrilling cinema.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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