Movie Review: In la Ciudad de Sylvia

The premise of this movie is simple:  A man only referred to as ‘El’, meaning ‘He’ in Spanish, follows a girl who he thinks is Sylvia, a girl that crossed paths with him years before.  When he gathers up the courage to speak to her when they board a bus together, he finds out that she’s not Sylvia and that she finds him really creepy.  I honestly don’t blame her.

En la Ciudad is actually an acclaimed movie, which was one reason why I chose it.  I’m actually surprised after watching it, because this is totally an art film- the majority of people are going to hate this.  It’s a Spanish movie, but everyone in it speaks French (makes sense because it takes place in Strasbourg).  It’s very casually shot- you see the main characters, but then afterward you still see the environment after they leave.  It’s very beautifully shot but it is extremely slow to develop the story, which is why I’m not completely in love with it.  The real star of the movie is Strasbourg itself, which is a beautiful city.  In my opinion, this is an hour and half advertisement for people to visit it, and it worked for me.

I don’t hate the movie, but I don’t love it either.  I love the cinematography and the environment, but it’s just way too slow.  I’m not asking for action movie movement, but this was like watching the movie unfold in real time, which is so boring.  The entire time I was watching, I  kept wondering when it was going to do something interesting, and the only time it really did is when El confronts who he thought was a crush from years ago.

I would only recommend it if you do like art films, because it probably takes that kind of person to appreciate this.  To the casual movie viewer, they would probably turn this off after five minutes.

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