Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Bar (5 Stars)

"Fear shows people as they really are".

This is the best film I've seen this year. I'm afraid to say too much about it, because the film involves a mystery that I don't want to spoil for people who haven't seen it yet.

Eight people visit a café/bar in a busy street in Madrid. They're eight people who don't know one another, from completely different walks of life, the sort of mix that you'd find in any bar. There's a woman sipping a coffee before her first meeting with a man on a dating site, there's a marketing expert for a big company, there's a lingerie salesman, there's a homeless man spending his last pennies on alcohol, there's a woman addicted to slot machines, there's an alcoholic ex-policeman, and there are two others that die before we get to know them.

One of the men leaves the bar. He's shot dead by a hidden sniper. The people outside flee in panic, leaving the streets deserted. A second man goes out to help him. He's also shot.

The remaining six customers, along with the owner and her cook, don't know what's happening. They discuss the situation with one another, first rationally, then yelling at one another, blaming one another for the situation. They realise they have unseen enemies, but their worst enemies are inside the bar. They begin to kill one another in a scramble to survive.

The film starts off as a comedy, especially in the early scenes when the bar's customers make the most ridiculous assumptions about what's happening. For instance, the marketing expert is accused of being an Islamic terrorist because of his beard, however much he insists that he's Catholic. As the film progresses it becomes more serious, developing into a psychological thriller, showing how people behave under extreme pressure.

The character development is expertly done. The film starts off with a bang, showing us ten people that we don't know. As the film develops we're introduced to the eight survivors in detail. This is film making at its best.

I can't find the words to express how good the film is. It's a masterpiece. It might not be shown in many cinemas because it's only a Spanish film, so you'll have to wait for the Blu-ray release.

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