Posted by: Ali | April 5, 2010

Movie: The Bridge of San Luis Rey

The Bridge of San Luis Rey, 2004, directed by Mary McGuckian

The Bridge of San Luis Rey was actually based on a book from the 1920s that won the Pulitzer Prize, and was recently made into a movie starring Robert De Niro.  Even more interestingly, although the movie is a 2004 release, it showed up this week in theatres in Lima, although dubbed.  Why have you not heard of it?  Because it was not a very big release.  And, I suspect, because it was set in Peru.

The story is about an accident – a rope bridge breaks while five people are on it, and all of them fall to their deaths into the river below.  A Franciscan monk witnesses the accident, and dedicates the next six years of his life to documenting the incident, and trying to understand why God chose those five people to die.  Unfortunately, he tries to employ logic and scientific reasoning to his investigation, and as the story is set in the 1700s, he is put on trial for being a heretic.

The movie was, shall we say, very confusing.  I suppose that it didn’t help that when I originally put on the movie the volume was up a bit loud and the opening scenes were in an echoey church so the first ten minutes of dialogue were really hard to make out.  Anyways, either the script was badly written or there was universally bad acting, or both, so I ended up having a lot of trouble following the plot.  Overall it wasn’t a total loss though, since there were some really funny characters and the costuming was fun.  I wouldn’t really recommend this movie.


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