FINISTERRAE (Sergio Caballero)


Perhaps the most bizarre film I have seen yet, Sergio Caballero's FINISTERRAE is equal parts intriguing, humorous and surreal. It is a film loaded with so much symbols that you just sit back, relax, and hope that you can piece together the plot (or the lack of it) as soon as the credits roll. 

The basic premise is that there are two ghosts who decide they want to become human again, and so embark on "The Way of St. James" to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and on to Cape Finnistera (or Finnisterae), which literally means "land's end". Along the way, they consult with an oracle, meet a hippie chick, elude an unknown assailant, encounter a forest filled with trees who bear ears (literally human ears!), and even find time to go fishing. The adventure is quite funny, at times just plain absurd, but all throughout existential questions abound. Just when I thought two guys dressed in white sheets were just escaped mental patients, Caballero pushes the surrealist atmosphere further, making the trip more bizarre as it goes on.

During the third half, there goes an element fresh out of "The Frog Prince", and an animal wandering the halls of a chateau. The ghosts are speaking in Russian, which may indicate universality of the theme (since they are traversing the way of St. James, which is in Spain) and the religious references may indicate Catholic interpretation of the afterlife. Experimental in nature, alienating at most parts, but never too bizarre or disposable, FINISTERRAE may even be a critique of the human condition, and could even be saying that we should make the most out of our human existence. Then again, FINISTERRAE may just be an avant garde deconstruction of the Catholic religion, wherein the Way of St. James is believed to reward plenary indulgence to those who take it and yet, these two ghosts traverse that same way so they can come back amongst the living. 

RATING: 4/5  

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