By Samantha Williams
On May 7, the Bellevue Theatre in Montclair presented a film called “Ma Ma” as part of the Montclair Film Festival. This was a compelling movie with an incredible story. Directed by Julio Medem, this romantic Spanish flick stars actress Penelope Cruz, who also helped produce the film. The entire movie was in Spanish with English subtitles to accommodate those who wanted to watch the film in English. The movie is about a woman, Ma Ma who has a husband that is involved with other relationships. Together they have a son and he loves everything about soccer, including playing the sport. Ma Ma received terrible news of having stage 3 breast cancer on one breast, so she was told she has to get chemotherapy and surgery to remove the breast. The same day she finds about her cancer, she attends her son’s soccer game and meets a soccer scout named Arturo who was very impressed by her son. On the same day, Arturo gets a life changing phone call from the hospital. Love begins to evolve immediately between Arturo and Ma Ma. With its ups and downs of Ma Ma’s journey through her cancer, it is a very moving plot that not only involves love, but a tremendous friendship between Ma Ma and her doctor.
I loved the content of the film, but there were two aspects that I was bothered by. The first was the transitions between scenes. The love between Arturo and Ma Ma happens too suddenly and they really do not even know each other. Another issue I saw also had to do with scene transitioning. As one scene was being shown, another scene was being pieced in and out until the prior scene was cut out. For example, as Ma Ma is listening to her doctor about having cancer, scenes are randomly placed in between of her approaching her son’s soccer game until she is just shown only at the soccer game. Other than these minor flaws, the content of the film and the unraveling of events were outstanding. A couple, Mr. and Mrs. Silverman, watched the film and had tears in their eyes after it was over.
“I think it’s going to change movies…I really do. My favorite part was how expressive it was.” Mr. Silverman said. “The imagination through the film was quite incredible.”
“It was kind of like a fairytale because there was a lot that was unreal about it, but the acting was amazing.” Mrs. Silverman said.
The couple was very intrigued, and sniffles were heard around the room as the end of the film approached. The audience applauded as the credits began to roll on the screen. I enjoyed the movie and I would definitely suggest it to others. There are a few powerful different stories built into this one story and there are multiple symbolic features throughout the film as well. “Ma Ma” was just one of the many various films in the festival that ran from April 29th to May 8th.