Too often today we hear that emptiest of phrases: "I’m here for you."
That is nearly never true … until it is. And it is in this.
Special and subtle it started with the image of a man’s shoes dancing… there were no explosions or Latino explicatives.
There are a lot of subtle clues through the film, random images which aren’t random at all, whether they are glimpses of a kite or bearded Franciscans.
I finally got around to watching Bella. It actually came a couple weeks ago via my Netflix. I have been staring at it, it staring at me. I’ve had it in my brief case. It went to other cities with me. It now has frequent flier miles.
Today was one of those clearing days. And so, I cleared and cleared and made supper and then, with nothing super urgent to be cleared, watched the movie.
I went into it knowing very little about it.
Most films today just shove you in the face. This is smart and emotional, intellective and affective.
Bella tugs you along, through the aisles of stores, frightened, looking into mirrors, putting the keys into an ignition you can’t yet turn. If your throat doesn’t close when you see what is going to happen… unless something happens… knowing it is going to happen, seeing it happen, and yearning in advance that it be healed, you have no pulse.
You confront the horror of an instant’s mistake.
Along the way there are non-random contrasts of city and not-city, human clocks you can’t see, fear washed away by dirt under the nails, masks and armor coming off, ancient treasures lost and returned, years of life irretrievable but not irredeemable, the dramatic moment of choice when giving up what you have is the only way to get everything back.
There is also a fine presentation of what a family is, can be. It can be of people who don’t know each other but do, speaking in languages that don’t need to be translated, heart speaking to heart. And who wouldn’t want to be a member of this family? They are individuals who are united, strangers who are bonded. No one has a knife, especially the cooks, the fathers and fathers to be.
And it a great food movie.
Men have to watch this movie.
Our lives can change so suddenly. Mistakes can break us in eye blinks and the healing can take so very very long.
This film could have particular importance for someone who hasn’t known or given kindness for a long time.