Uncharted Filmhaüs: Reviewing ‘Sidewalls’

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Welcome to Uncharted Filmhaüs: the magical land of films you’ll probably never watch.

Sidewalls

Released 2011, Argentina – Writer/Director Gustavo Taretto

Typically, and unfortunately, films that extend the story of random romantic encounters get written off as “chick-flicks” or “rom-coms” and rarely get the respect they deserve. Movies like Serendipity (2001) and Happenstance (2000) will often make people roll their eyes when trying discuss them as genuine films with meaning and depth. If you are anything like me, you’ve given up trying to convince others that these films are more than just moment-in-time fantasies, and you reserve any personal connection to such stories . In line with these films, Sidewalls (Medianeras) grabs hold of the torch and takes audiences for a unique and amusing ride.

Set in modern day Buenos Aires, Sidewalls allows audiences the opportunity to get lost in the chance encounters of its main characters, but it does so with the added twist of technology and Argentinian culture. Martín (Javier Drolas) and Mariana (Pilar López de Ayala) are two lonely souls seeking companionship beyond the physical presence of a mate. However, their shared shy dispositions serve as a barrier to any connection they could have. As they stumble about Buenos Aires, neither seem able to find themselves in another, yet both are confident that what they do find is not what they are after.

This film is unique as it never settles on a path for its story nor its characters. After having seen a number of Hollywood movies that play around with the concept of hard-to-find romance and loneliness, one can easily fall into the traps of common expectations for what comes next. However, Sidewalls does its job well, as it takes the necessary time to dive deeper into the characters’ lives and personalities. While audiences may be expecting a certain outcome, the story always seems to veer away from the common path and takes a new, less traveled road. While Sidewalls may not blow you away, it’s not supposed to. This is what makes movies and stories like this so fun and attractive. The possibility of these small and simple tales of destiny is what keeps us going.

So, sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn, and stretch your legs, your mind and your soul.