Starring: Carmen Machi, Pepón Nieto, Kiti Mánver
Director: Marina Seresesky
Running Time: 93 mins
A Remarkable Tale (Lo nunca visto) is a Spanish film about an isolated mountain village trying to keep its community afloat, and when they make a surprise discovery in their town, they decide that they’ll do anything to use it to their advantage.
This is a nice, light-hearted movie with a pleasantly positive message at its core. As a result, A Remarkable Tale is a film that never grows annoying, nor a difficult watch at any time, however what it doesn’t quite do is bring anything particularly memorable or remarkable to its ultimately rather generic story.
Positivity and fluffiness is more than enough to make for a pleasant watch, but as films like A Remarkable Tale prove, they don’t do much to make a movie particularly engaging, a problem that makes for a rather disappointing watch despite the pleasant nature of this film’s premise.
But let’s start on the bright side, with the fact that, although it doesn’t make for a particularly remarkable watch, this film has an undeniably pleasant and easy-going atmosphere, with slow, patient pacing alongside silly farce, zany characters and a quirky setting. It’s not a hilarious watch, and the comedy is often far weaker than should often be the case, but as far as an hour and a half of simple, easy movie watching goes, this film does a perfectly fine job.
Add to that an ensemble cast featuring a combination of A-listers and entertaining newcomers, with yet another enjoyable lead turn from Carmen Machi backed up by a number of outstanding quirky supporting turns, in particular from Jimmy Castro, Ricardo Nkosi, Montse Pla and Malcolm Treviño-Sitté, who play the four unexpected arrivals in this small mountain community.
The chemistry in the varied cast is great throughout, and while the energy from those performances isn’t always backed up by a strong screenplay or great comedy, the leads do a fantastic job at bringing as much life to the film as possible, furthering the fun, fluffy atmosphere that makes the film such an easy-going watch at times.
And of course, the movie has an uplifting, positive and kind-hearted message about integration and community spirit, overcoming traditional prejudices and stereotypes to form an even stronger bond between friends and co-residents. It sounds pretty cheesy just put like that, but the film does a decent job at delivering it in earnest fashion.
However, saying all of that, A Remarkable Tale is a film which still seems to prove that simply being nice and pleasant isn’t enough to make for an engaging watch. The often underwhelming comedy notwithstanding, there’s not much of a story here, and away from the few sequences that are used as a vehicle to hammer home the movie’s main message, the majority of the plot is far from enthralling, and often difficult to really make sense of.
That’s not to say it’s a difficult or complex watch, but as far as an easy-going comedy goes, the film’s poor story and relatively poor humour are far from the best ways to make a passable film that little bit better, instead coming off as a rather disappointing and forgettable watch that, despite its positive and pleasant vibes, is far from the remarkable tale that it seems to promise at first, so that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9 overall.