I caught this movie on HBO a few days ago, it was midway into the movie and I sat there and watched a few minutes, despite the subtitles I was captivated by the storyline and went back to the guide and found the next airing of it, I set it to record. Yesterday I started to watch it and it is a beautiful film…I dislike subtitles as I find myself reading the subtitles and finding that for the most part they are off from the actual lines being uttered by the actors, I find that highly annoying. There was one character José who was speaking a different language, not sure if it was French so in those instances the subtitles helped…anyhoo I thoroughly enjoyed the film, it was quite thought provoking and well acted. I know that if I was to ever take up a crusade I would support the end of life debate, I know it arises strong feelings for many individuals especially on a religious standpoint, but it is my personal opinion and belief that life without dignity is no way to live. I have newfound respect for the actor Javier Bardem, he was very charismatic in this role, very much like the man behind this true story.
Two of the most talented figures in contemporary Spanish cinema — actor Javier Bardem and director Alejandro Amenábar — collaborate for this powerful drama, based on a true story. Ramón Sampedro was a fisherman and part-time poet who, at the age of 26, suffered an accident while diving that left him a bedridden quadriplegic. Now 54, Ramón must depend on his family to survive — his macho brother José (Celso Bugallo), José’s wife, Manuela (Mabel Rivera), and their son, Javi (Tamar Novas). While grateful to his family and friends for their help, Ramón was always an active person, and as the years wore on, he has come to see his life as frustrating and pointless and wishes to die with what remains of his dignity. José, however, is bitterly opposed to the notion of assisted suicide, and Spanish laws would implicate anyone who helped Ramón end his own life, which is something Ramón does not want to do. Through Gené (Carla Segura), a friend who works with a “Right to Die” organization, Ramón is introduced to Julia (Belen Rueda), a lawyer he hopes will help him persuade the courts to let him end his own life. Julia is dealing with her own mortality issues since being diagnosed with a degenerative disease, and Ramón hopes her condition will make her arguments more persuasive. As Ramón and Julia work together on his case and help to prepare a book of his poems for publication, Ramón finds himself falling in love with his attorney, who happens to be married, but while his infatuation gives Julia second thoughts about the case, Ramón remains convinced that the greatest gift to him would be an end to his life