Gordos, Sánchez-Arévalo back on Lido with touching “full-size” comedy
Three years after Daniel Sánchez-Arévalo launched his feature debut DarkBlueAlmostBlack [+see also:
film profile] in Venice Days, he returns to the section with Gordos [+see also:
interview: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo
Interview with Daniel Sánchez-Arévalo,…
film profile]. The smart, witty ensemble comedy received a lengthy standing ovation at its official screening.
The story revolves around a series of chubby characters undergoing group therapy, led by a thin therapist (Roberto Enríquez) who, it turns out, has the biggest weight issues of them all when his wife gets pregnant. Thus, the film doesn’t simply speak of body image, but of human fears, insecurities and guilt, and the facades we all create in an attempt to ignore or live with our contradictions.
Said the director at the Q&A: “This film is about stopping to look at images from TV or the outside world. It is really about all those things we ‘eat’, swallow, are unable to express and get out of our system.”
The project would not have been possible without the trust and support of producers José Antonio Félez and Antón Reixa. “Nowadays, it’s hard to find a producer that believes in your talent or in a story, especially one that takes more time and more money to do than your average film,” said the director. Case in point: the shoot lasted ten months, because Sánchez-Arévalo had to work around the weight gains and losses of his cast, who were closely monitored throughout the production by a team of nutritionists and endocrinologists.
Antonio de la Torre, who plays a TV diet pill guru, underwent the greatest transformation. Small in stature to begin with, he had to lose, gain, lose and gain again a ton of weight, arriving at 102 kilos at his “peak”. “Daniel contacted me about starring in the film via sms,” he said, “in a message that read, ‘Are you ready to become a cow for me?’ I thought he was crazy, but I trust him, so I immediately said yes.”
Also on the Lido with the film were Enriquez, Pilar Castro and Leticia Herrero. The latter, a driving school instructor who had never acted before, absolutely shines as a woman in a stifling relationship struggling to be herself, in whatever physical form that may be.
Gordos is at times politically incorrect, at times gleefully cruel, but always honest. Its strength lies in never judging the characters, nor does it shy away from the fact that in today’s world, being thin often leads to feeling better about ourselves because of the attention it brings.
The Tesela-Filmanova Invest production was made for €3.5m and is being released domestically next week on 200 prints by Alta Films. Sales agent Imagina says there is already much interest in the film worldwide.
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