ANITA NO PERD IL TREN (ANITA TAKES A CHANCE)
Spain, 2001, 90 minutes, Colour.
Rosa Maria Sarda, Jose Coronado, Maria Barrenco.
Directed by Ventura Pons.
Anita Takes a Chance is a light comedy, focusing on a woman turning fifty. She has spent 34 years at the cinema box office and is suddenly given a holiday by her boss. When she returns, she finds the building has been demolished and a cinema complex is being built. She goes into free fall. As she goes each day to look at the building site, she is attracted by the driver of a bulldozer who has left a photo of herself at a bar. for her. They begin an affair. She discovers he is married. However, with the support of her neighbour, Natalia, she continues the affair. She invites the bulldozer driver to celebrate her birthday but he doesn't turn up. She decides that she will pursue him through all the building sites of the city.
The strength of the film is in Rosa Maria Sarda's performance, her wry and ironic tone and her appeal to the audience, the range of her comic and serious acting. The film is a subversive comedy about a widow in middle age trying to face an uncertain future after working for thirty four years in a cinema and comparing her life with the conventions of the movies that she has watched for so many years.
Ventura Pons makes his films in the Catalan language.
1. An entertaining Spanish comedy? Humour, style, jokes, fantasy, reality?
2. The city setting: the streets, the apartments, the cinema, the building sites? The musical score and its light atmosphere?
3. The title and the focus on Anita, her situation at fifty, a widow, her opportunities for the future, growing old, the relationship and her decisions about its future?
4. The structure of the film: Anita and her voice over, talking to the audience, taking the audience into her confidence? The flashbacks? Building up a picture of Anita as a girl, young woman, working in the cinema, her relationship with the boss? Her being influenced by films? Her dreams, especially the animated destruction of the world, the dream fantasies? Her coming to terms with her crisis? The opening up of new worlds, relationships? Coming alive? Her decision for the future?
5. Anita and her character: buying the cake, the candle, facing fifty? Feeling old and wanting tablets to make her feel young again? The discussions with Natalia? Going to work, people staring at her in the bus? The boss and his giving her the holiday? Her suspicions? The holiday and her return, finding the building had disappeared? The boss ringing her from the Caribbean and telling her it was a matter of image? Her going into depression? Wandering the city, overeating? Going to the site, watching the builders, falling into the hole, being rescued? The bulldozer and Antoni? His leaving the photo in the bar, her confiding in the man in the bar? Antoni and his revealing himself, tenderness, the meetings, her wondering whether he was fooling her? The beginning of the sexual encounter, its effect on her, on him? Her discovering he was married? The effect on her, her being the lover? His finishing his job, his going to another building site, her setting up the party for her birthday, his not coming? Her decisions for the future?
6. Natalia, her story, marriages, relationships, friendship with Anita, their discussions, meals together? Her advice happy go lucky? Tantalising men and the discussion about feminism? The outing, her collapse, hospital, the doctor? Her friendship and support of Anita?
7. The boss, his callous attitude, carefree in the Caribbean? The twins and their laughing at Anita, keeping their jobs?
8. Antoni, the bulldozer, the quiet approach, leaving the photo? Making himself known, the outings, on the park bench? Going to the site, the sexual relationship, his being married? His moving on?
9. A portrait of a middle aged woman, the realities of her crises, self image, relationships? Loss of job? Decisions for the future?