The Strange Case Of Angelica Movie Review

The Strange Case Of Angelica Movie Review

The Strange Case Of Angelica Movie Review - The Strange Case Of Angelica Story, Movie Review, Cast And RatingParanormal romances are always hot favorites with young girls who love to see films filled with vampires, werevolves, and angels. However, the strange fact of Portuguese cetenarian filmmaker Maoel de Oliveira’s latest venture ‘The Strange Case of Angelica’ is that despite being a film on supernatural forces, the movie is sans any ghosts, ghouls, vampires or evil spirits from the afterworld. Instead, the director has focused on an odd case of love between a mortal and an entity from beyond the grave.

The director seems to fancy the landscape around the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal which has played as the backdrop for most of his films. Filled with vineyards and olive groves, the valley is noteable for its aristocratic estates that stand magnificently amidst sweeping meadows and fields.

And indeed, it is the Duoro Valley which plays the backdrop for ‘The Strange Case of Angelica’ as well. The main protagonist of the film, young Isaasc (played by Ricardo Trêpa) is a Sephardic Jewish immigrant who works as a professional photographer.

Inspite of the availability of modern machinery to help him with his job, Isaac prefers the age old method of taking photographs and so you see him taking pictures of agricultural workers busy at work and then developing the prints in a darkroom and hanging them out to dry on a clothesline strung across the room.

One night, Isaac is summoned to the home of a rather wealthy aristocrat. The family’s daughter Angelica (played by Pilar López de Ayala) died shortly after her marriage and the family wants Isaac to take a final photo of the young lady in order to preserve her natural beauty.

As Isaac gets ready to take the photo, he gets the shock of his life. As he looks through the lens of his camera, Angelica suddenly opens her eyes and smiles at him, almost flirtatiously. The same thing happens again when Isaac notices Angelica opening her eyes and smiling at him through one of the prints hanging in his room.

The Strange Case Of Angelica Movie Review - The Strange Case Of Angelica Story, Movie Review, Cast And Rating

Soon Isaac starts dreaming about Angelica visiting him from the afterworld and this courtship soon paves the way for a most unusual love story between a mortal and a ghost that supposedly haunts his conscience. Every time Angelica visits Isaac, he becomes more besieged by her haunting beauty.

Oliveira has managed to enthrall the audiences to the point where they get sucked into Isaac and Angelica’s surrealistic world. However, the director has also made it a point to stick to the bounds of reality while maintaining a check on the sensible display of emotions throughout the film.

The contemporary setting for the movie does not align with the nostalgic feel it imparts. But the director’s attempts to employ digital special effects wherever necessary to portray Angelica’s specter is praisworthy and manages to pull the film from falling into the genre of age old cinema.

The film’s charm lies in the way the director manages to balance the supernatural occurences with the otherwise normal routines of everyday life. As Isaac stays in his dream world with Angelica, around him the world seems to go on as if nothing happened. Oliveira maintains a fresh appeal throughout the film and his world (projected through his exemplary lens) is both absolutely beautiful and magical to behold.

The Strange Case Of Angelica Movie Review - The Strange Case Of Angelica Story, Movie Review, Cast And Rating

On the whole, ‘The Strange Case of Angelica’ is a melodramatic film that is manipulative, graceful and finely crafted. Along with some stellar performances by both Pilar López de Ayala (who manages to carry of the ethereal beauty of the deceased Angelic with ease) and Ricadro Trepa (who is convincing in his role of a confused and earnest lover), the film is a silent gem that is a must watch for die hard romantics and paranormal fanatics!

Director: Maoel de Oliveira

Cast: Ricardo Trepa. Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Leonor Silveria, Luis Miguel, Cintra, Ana Maria Magalhaes and Isabel Ruth.

Rating: 3.5/5

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