Ali by Paco Baños
Ali is afraid of falling in love and terrified of driving… smokes like a chimney and is as blunt and cynical as they make them.
Paco Baños' heroine lives in Seville, but she could be from anywhere else. She struggles with becoming an adult, though she behaves like one at home, where she is used to play a protective and caring role with her mum. Ali looks after her progenitor, who doesn't give up on love despite all the failed 'Princes Charming'.
Baños' film made me flashed back to the Seville I lived in about eight years ago; the city where the Cine Avenida screened Buffalo '66, one of the director’s confessed inspirations for this movie. And, I’m not saying you should forget about the touristic and traditional image of Seville, but you should also know there is so much to this alternative side of the city. And, I feel proud to say it’s this under-the-surface Seville that has made possible a little gem of the Spanish cinema like Ali.
Ali’s dialog is witty, quick, fun and sharp, as is its heroine, a certainly inspired Nadia de Santiago. Baños’ film talks about overcoming our fears; it’s a tale with tender men and strong women. It’s a movie with Andalusian accent. Julio de la Rosa’s soundtrack is delicate at times, pays an homage to garage rock and to dancy pop, and hypnotises us with bells and subtle notes. But, what makes this an incredible soundtrack is Ali’s breathing or smoking, her laugh, the sound of the sea near the Trafalgar’s lighthouse or that torrential rain that you knew was going to happen just because someone decided to put their clothes up in the terrace.
I honestly don’t think I’d change anything in Baños’ movie that succeeds at telling a genuine story about how people become important when they are connected to each other. A tale coloured by the sunlight, warm and bright, from the south that inundates every frame of its wonderful cinematography.