Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10th Spanish Film Festival: Habitacion en Roma

Loving Strangers.. Loving Strangers..
Dang.. I've been singing that line from a song by Russian Red after hearing it played over and over again in the movie Habitacion en Roma (Room in Rome). It's one of the entries in Pelikula: Spanish Film Festival 2011 held in Greenbelt 3 from October 5-16.

Last Saturday, I dragged my friend to go with me in Greenbelt. We arrived at 8pm but Lope, the entry for 9pm screening, was already sold out! So there’s no choice! I had to watch one of the movies included in the Festival or risk ruining my day.

So instead of backing out, we settled for the 12am screening. And when I read the synopsis of the story, I couldn’t help but grin. What do you expect from a LAST full show anyway! J

Yes, maybe you had it right. Habitacion en Roma or Room in Rome is an intense movie about two women who are almost a stranger to each other and the night they spent together inside a room in Rome. It’s a wonderfully woven story behind lies, truth, lust and love.

I was surprised to see the Greenbelt Cinema still full considering it’s already as late as 12am and the film length was almost 2 hours! Nonetheless, I’d like to think that Habitacion en Roma was worth it, after all, it was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress (Elena Anaya) and Best New Actress (Natasha Yarovenko) in Goya Awards 2011.
(Natasha Yarovenko as Natasha. Photo source here.)

(Elena Anaya as Alba. Photo source here)

Indeed the actresses’ performance was exceptional. They spent almost the whole movie naked with the camera panning over their goddess-like bodies and beautiful faces. It was a two hour film filled with erotic scenes and love making but the drama of slowly uncovering their own souls made the story really heart felt.

The night spent in discovering where the truth and lies, love and lust overlapped was wonderfully unveiled in the movie. And as the dawn came, the two women dealt with their realities, and emotional conflicts wondering if what they have for each other was as strong as what they felt the night before.

I also like the way they made the artwork inside that hotel room as an effective element of the story so it became a cool mix of art, history and relationships. The movie is also set in a picturesque veranda overlooking Rome, such an excellent setting for these strangers.

The movie succeeded in showing the struggles and stages of relationships –from being total strangers to slowly putting your walls down to let that other person inside your life. Although the movie can scandalize many conservatives with sensual scenes between two women, it was able to prove that Love is truly universal and that it can transcend even the greatest barriers such as culture and sexuality.

So days after watching the movie I’m still humming the song Loving Strangers, and I thought, I guess all kinds of love or relationship for that matter, always begin with being strangers. And the rest, as they may, is a history.  Maybe we just all need a room in Rome where we can actually discover our souls and conquer our desires. And maybe that’s all we need to fall in love, again.


  1. Elena Anaya sure looks good in that flannel shirt. I love her in that new film by Almodovar.

  2. Hi dear!
    thank you for dropping by my site.
    Elena Anaya is definitely a good actress. What a great performance in this movie!


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