On Sunday, April 25, the 26th annual Chicago Latin Film Festival had a special screening of the Argentinean film Felicitas, which included an appearance from the director and the Consul General of Argentina. After the film's presentation, the director fielded questions during a brief Q&A with the audience. Felicitas Directed by: Teresa Costantini Cast: Sabrina Garciarena, Gonzalo Heredia, Alejandro Awada Running Time: 2 hrs Rating: NR Release Date: TBD
Here is a story of romance where the “true love” relationship at the core of tragedy is less interesting than those of which the lead character considers to be “distractions.” Felicitas is a seemingly average love story with an even duller dude trying to play Prince Charming. Played by Gonzalo Heredia, he’s only presented through her eyes, and her perspective is somewhat the way a girl may dream about marrying their high school quarterback boyfriend.
The movie isn’t terrible, however, as the title character’s presence is somewhat warming, especially since she’s the most talented in the bunch (and she looks a bit like Anne Hathaway, which is amusing). Also, when someone watches foreign movies, they must trust that the translator didn’t butcher any of the dialogue, and that what is seen in the final version is indeed what the creators meant. So, you’ve got some terribly corny lines floating around Felicitas pretending to be the heartfelt utterings they might have once been. Still - “The worst wound inflicted on me was a long time ago.” Yawn. “Only your hands know how to hold mine?” Creep.
“Romeo and Juliet” creeps into this apparently true story of forbidden love, but the film doesn’t support itself with anything remarkable or truly fresh about the topic, even if we have never even heard of Felicitas the woman before. The better movies that are inspired by Romeo and Juliet are the ones that play around with the story. Here, two dumb kids died, and I wrote down and underlined, “Whatever.”
As for the Q&A, director Teresa Costanini was asked a few questions about the production of the film, for which she said was authentic. "Everything was shot on location," she stated. "There were no sound stages used."
The most interesting question was focused on the relationship between Felicitas and Enrique, who (according to an audience member) had a hot and cold relationship, even when they weren't seeing each other for long periods of time. The director seemed very content with the label of "contradicting," and said with some pride that "I think people are contradictory."