In his first movie, Carmen and Lola, for which he won the Goya Award for Best New Director, Arantxa Echevarría It was about the love between two gypsy girls. Now in The perfect family, her second film as a director, returns to talk about difficult and complicated love affairs marked by prejudices and misunderstanding. In this case, between a boy from a posh, conservative and wealthy family, played by Gonzalo ramos (almost a clone of Pablo Casado) and a girl from a humble and hardworking family whom he gives life Carolina Yuste.
“I have always hated prejudice against social classes and sexual differences,” the director tells us. “And I found it funny to play with that in this movie, especially looking for super-marked stereotypes. The film begins as a sitcom, with prototypes like the perfect cock and the ridiculous working-class neighborhood family, only to then see that all of these were appearances that are gradually transforming. That family from the working-class neighborhood loves each other much more truly, they are more natural than the other family, that everyone wants what they don’t have and that others have ”.
But, in addition to this love story between people of different social classes, The perfect family also speaks of a woman, in this case the one who interprets Belén Rueda, which is rediscovered and a new life begins. “For me that was very important,” he acknowledges. Arantxa Echevarría. “I lived it with Carmen and Lola, because I made my first film when I was 50 years old and I was lucky that at that age my professional life went up ”.
The perfect family It is a family movie, a Christmas comedy, but where serious issues are addressed. “Comedy is the best way to tell important things and it is very difficult. It is the worst genre I have ever faced in my life. It’s easier to make someone cry. I’ve had a terrible time ”, the director admits bluntly.
Belén Rueda she gets into the shoes of a high-class woman who looks over her shoulder at everyone else, but is about to discover that her life is not as perfect as it seems. “It is a burden that all women carry. At 50 we have to dye our gray hair, if there are wrinkles we have to cover or hide them and we put on makeup. It’s a tribal thing. Putting on heels and suffering from being tall and having slim legs. There are still a lot of tribal things from the Cro-Magnon era that we still have there that we don’t realize and we keep playing that same game. I have always been on a strange side in the world of women. I can’t fix it. I don’t put on makeup or wear heels, something that is increasingly being accepted ”, explains the director.
Next to Belén Rueda we see actors like Gonzalo de castro and Jose Coronado already actresses like Pepa Aniorte and Carolina Yuste, which already worked with Arantxa Echevarría on Carmen and Lola, winning the Goya as best revelation actress and whose character as a choni daughter-in-law, has, although it may not seem like it, many points in common with the posh mother-in-law who plays Belén Rueda. “Yes, because the two are going to live the same situation. One because she gets pregnant and loses her job and the other because she has dedicated herself to taking care of her son and has lost her life. They are different, but, deep down, the same. I believe that in the film there is a message of sisterhood regarding women. It doesn’t matter if you are a cleaner or a film director. We have the same brown and they look at us the same ”.
And after this commercial comedy, covered by a private television such as Atresmedia, Arantxa Echevarría will return to a more personal and intimate cinema. “In August I will start shooting a new film that is going to be titled Chinese, about the second generation of Chinese girls in Spain. It is the story of a child named Lucía, who is ten years old, and who is the typical girl that we see in a bazaar, the kind that, every time you enter, you see her doing homework next to her mother in the store . And of another Chinese girl named Xian, also ten years old, who is adopted. It is the relationship of these two girls from the first day that they coincide in a public school. Everyone assumes that they have a lot in common, but they have nothing to do with each other ”. Again some prejudices that Arantxa Echevarría he will try to disassemble with his camera.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.