I haven’t been too much of a fan of Luis Bunuel, although this can mostly be attributed to me having only seen his early surrealist works, and surrealism doesn’t jive too well with me. Tristana is one of his later works, when he finally started with plots and storylines in his films, but the surrealist undertones are still there, hiding underneath the veneer. As this is foreign, subtitles are necessary, but even without them, the film still manages to not be entertaining in the slightest.
Immediate points off for immersion-breaking overdubbing. This irks me to no end, and I am choosing to suffer it less and less, especially from films that don’t otherwise enrapture me. Not that the film is poorly made, it’s well made, but the entertainment value falls extremely flat with this one. I just could not get into this film at all. Maybe it was the overdubbing distracting me, maybe it was just a poor night for my concentration; or maybe it was the film’s incredibly slow pacing and execution, but I was bored stiff watching this. You might fare better than I, but the languid storytelling just left me wanting.
All in all, my experience with this one does not bode well for me and future excursions into Bunuel territory, of which there are many more to be had. I couldn’t figure out why this film in the man’s lengthy filmography warranted inclusion on the list; it was average at best. Hopefully his other works at least have something special about them to warrant me sitting through them, because if they’re all like this, I may have found one of my least favorite directors on the list.
Arbitrary Rating: 5/10