This Friday November 8 arrives at the Spanish cinemas ‘Advantages of traveling by train’. The first opera of Aritz Moreno It was already exhibited at the last Sitges Festival, leaving very good feelings to those who had the opportunity to see this adaptation of the novel of Antonio Orejudo. An unclassifiable proposal that always seems to go two steps ahead of the viewer.
The movie itself is selling under the motto of ‘The likelihood is overrated’, A few statement more certain than in the case of‘ Advantages of traveling by train ’. It tells several stories that may or may not be true and that may be intertwined, constantly changing both tone and gender. This combination gives rise a very stimulating work that knows how to play with eschatology without falling into the usual mistakes of it.
A Russian cinematographic doll
It is impossible to give an accurate description of 'Advantages of traveling by train' in a few words without it seems that one has gone crazy mixing things that do not seem to fit together, and it also does so without giving the feeling of looking for a balance between issues that could hardly be more disparate with each other, but with a daring rarely seen in a Spanish production.
Already from the start, which revolves around the encounter between two characters who travel by train after going through a psychiatric hospital for very different reasons, one is clear that ‘Advantages of traveling by train’ will be many things, but conventional is not one of them. The psychiatric detail itself is already a clue of what awaits us, but the film is beginning to show its layers with a succession of delusional stories in which there is room for countless surprises.
The first thing to be clear that my partner John Tones described very well as a trip to the depths of the mind is that we are going to have fun, we are going to have a lot of fun. It would be easy to think of the film as a succession of more or less fortunate blows of effect, but at all times it is clear that there is an idea behind the apparent nonsense that happens before our eyes.
‘Advantages of traveling by train’ points mostly to comedy, but there is also an occasion to leave our blood cold. His x-ray of the different disorders that his characters suffer also becomes a thriller of the most unusual, not so much to mislead the viewer – but also – to give more depth to some characters that could easily have been a cartoon without an entity.
There the successful casting helps a lot to never get out of the movie, even in those moments when perhaps the machine is a little more force and it seems that the only way to assume the facts is seeing it as an absolute nonsense. That is the point of no return in the relationship of each viewer with the movie, since one can trust that this multitude of dead ends lead somewhere, take it all by messing around or simply disconnect.
I cannot blame those who are overwhelmed and opt for one of the last two options, but the elusive 'Advantages of traveling by train' approach is always oriented to the first, even when it seems that the thing has simply come out of Mother. And yes, Moreno He has no problem pushing his characters to the limit, sometimes based on sympathetic occurrences such as the confusion between porn and the love of one of his characters, but also literally annulling the personality of one of them for the benefit of the desires adjacent to his partner's zoophilia.
In this way, the surprise is constant, although sometimes it is at the cost of canceling what we just saw just a few moments before. The first time something like this happens one can react in disbelief, but there comes a point where the very concept of the film inevitably requires such solutions. And you might laugh a lot, but at all times fly over a halo of pessimism which takes to another level the numerous contrasts presented by ‘Advantages of traveling by train’.
Undoubtedly, much of it comes from the original novel, but the script signed by Javier Gullón It could have been lost in a succession of crossed life trapped in a web of lies but at the moment of truth it shows an enviable clarity of ideas that allows everything to flow much better than what on paper is entitled to achieve something like that.
For his part, Moreno embraces the courage of history to immerse himself in a complex proposal, always ready to delve into the darkest details but without underlining them more than necessary. Visually has the necessary support in the remarkable photograph of Javier Agirre Erauso, very different from that of ‘The infinite trench’ but just as fascinating and very well adapted to the changing nature of the movie.
The delivery of the cast, where there is no fear of making the most striking elements of the psyche of his characters his own and showing it in it without fear of ridicule, is the icing necessary for a first-time opera that makes it very clear that we have to continue very closely to its director. It is very difficult to find a movie like this, and not only in Spanish cinema, but also know how to handle some ingredients kamikazes so well is even more complicated.