Directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Written by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and Isabel Peña
Starring Aura Garrido, Javier Pereira, Jesús Caba
BY R. MARTÍNEZ
From time to time, one watches a film whose originality and inventiveness are able to surprise and excite even the most worn out audiences’ imaginations, always looking out for a true and special cinematic experience. Stockholm provides a lot of that and a little more. It is fresh and surprising, well-shot and better performed. It is new but has a very powerful cult element to it, borrowing from very interesting sources that should not be revealed, thus intending to optimise the artistic journey that is Stockholm. The less the spectator knows about it, the better.
It all happens during one cold winter night, and part of the following day. A boy (He) notices a mysterious girl dressed in a white dress at a flat party. He stares at her shamelessly and boldly invites her to his flat, but She refuses. After leaving the party He starts following her, insisting on the fact that he can’t help it as he has fallen in love with her at first sight. Although She doesn’t quite buy it, she allows him to walk back home with her for a while. They talk, joke, and walk about in the night city lights. The young man’s confidence helps him get closer to her by the minute, although her awkward self-consciousness is almost impossible to bring down… Almost.
Stockholm was initially thought of as a short film, and some of that feel still remains in the final piece. It was partially crowd-founded online, raising 8,000 euro in 10 days only. This film, which could be classified as a thriller although it feeds from other genres too, received a total of five different awards at the Málaga Film Festival. These included best film, best director and, unsurprisingly, best actress. Aura Garrido’s performance as She is so enthralling that it is actually difficult to take our eyes off her. On the other hand, Javier Pereira manages to keep the balance just right, playing a character whose subtle moods and intentions are not as evident as they may seem at first glance. Garrido and Pereira ARE the film, as the whole plot revolves around them walking around, chatting and relating to each other, in what could easily have been thought of as a stage play. But as the story moves forward the moods, the backgrounds and even the visual style start shifting, even so much, that the film itself seems to split in two by the middle.
As a film lover, I felt something very gratifying while watching Stockholm; a feeling one usually gets when watching high-quality independent films. Being surprised by cinema does not come easy these days, and I truly appreciated every twist and turn in the film. There is talent in Spanish cinema, and it lies in small, independent, but at the same time bold and intriguing projects such as this one. If we all continued to support independent films we might as well be surprised again, and again, and again…