First off, thanks to whoever posted a working link to this one on the wiki; this was another rare one to locate, and indeed we couldn’t seem to find one with subtitles attached, so the subtitles I watched the film with were from a separate file, and needed some adjusting along the way, but anyways… I’m not all that sure what type of genre Cuban post-revolutionary film is, but apparently, Lucia is considered a pretty big one in that field. Then again, I’m mostly going by what the book says, as well as the smattering of information I was able to find on the internet, which seemed to highlight the importance of this one. Indeed, while watching it I caught glimpses of the power of this one, but they were few and fleeting; most of the time, I was mired in a story that always seemed to be searching for how to tell itself, and thus came across much of the time as floundering.
I wasn’t too sure where this film was going when I started it, but eventually things started to clear up a little, if only a little. The film is actually segmented into three parts, each dealing with a different woman named Lucia, and each in a different Cuban time period. To go into any of the three stories in any real depth would invite spoilers (not that I’m too sure all that many of you will go out of your way to see this one, aside from 1001 movie completionists), but each has a different style and a different genre, and each had their own twists and turns in the narrative that they liked to throw at me, mostly to see if I was paying attention. There was a definite thread of style that ran through the whole film, and it was something altogether new to me, though I can see how it was influenced by other film genres still erupting into their prime. The technical aspects were okay; a lot of the sound work was foley, which got annoying when there was an overabundance of it, and the film uses shakycam for the action sequences, as well as a very intrusive camera that seemed to move around just for the kinetic hell of it. The story and the score were the two parts I did enjoy, when I could make out the story and when the score was used correctly.
This is a film you have to work with; you can’t just sit back and relax watching this one, it demands too much of your attention and cognitive reasoning to keep your head above the water. I couldn’t really tell if it was a good thing or a bad thing, but what I could tell was that after two hours and forty minutes of metaphorically treading water, I was tired when it was all over. Lucia is an exercise, pure and simple, in both meanings of the word, and at times, it worked and was worth the effort. Other times, it wasn’t, which is why I gave the film as low a rating as I did, but take it with a grain of salt; just because a film requires a lot of effort doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad. It just means that it requires a lot of effort.
Arbitrary Rating: 6/10