The Skin Of The Wolf ( Spanish/2018/ Netflix)
Writer/ Director – Samu Fuentes
Cast- Mario Casas, Irene Escolar, Ruth Diaz
A raw and crude huntsman( Mario) lives a solitary bare-bones life on brutish cold and unlivable mountain and sells wolf skins for a living.
When he marries a woman as a solution to his solitude, he is completely unprepared for the emotions and turns that are about rock his life.
When I noticed the trailer on Netflix, the first thing it reminded me of was Revenant.
The unrelenting cold, snow covered expanses, freezing blizzards, harsh terrain and extreme loneliness.
There’s something very inviting I find about the films where frames speak more than the characters.
The film opens to enchanting music , breathtaking beautiful snow covered mountains of Spain and Mario’s harsh and lonely life.
For a good chunk of time, we see him going about his routines. He lives in a bare accommodation, sets traps, hunts wolfs, skins them, prepares his tools, cooks and eats the most basic, sleeps and repeat.There is a monotony about his schedules that is mesmerising to observe.This monotony also conveys a lot about him and his life.So I did not consider this as a lag in pace.
The way he deals with his partner is raw and brutish but there’s something about the way his character has been etched that you do not hate him. Seems as if the man is alien to normal civilised feelings.
There are minor moments that you see the flash of sentiments and a heart beneath the harshness but it’s a pity his partner is unable to perceive what we see as audience after all they were the ones at the receiving end.
The film kept me absolutely enraptured despite its leisurely pace and lack of dialogues.The resilience of the women, the tough life, the simmering unexpressed feelings leads to a complex jumble of emotions, and I mean not just of the characters.
Mario Casas, whom I lost saw in the series Innocente is worth a praise for his performance as the rough hewn crude man with primodial appearance, conduct and emotions.He reminded a lot of Leonardo.
The story had me totally hooked and intrigued.
It is a superb combination of beautiful visuals, dark and cold frames, and a very strange mix of basal needs clashing with basal emotions.
Not meant for all audience but recommended for those who have a palate for such cinema.