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Rental Unit: "The Sea Inside"

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Bardem is an undeniably fine actor; it takes one to command the screen with only one's head. His character's plight is moving, but the film's title misleads. If there is a sea of wisdom, or intelligence, or compassion, or understanding within Ram¢n, it is not revealed. "The Sea Inside" seems to refer only to the fact that Ram¢n would like to swim in the sea again.

Denied a deep look at the protagonist, we would normally expect instead a pointed examination of the assisted suicide argument. That, surprisingly, is not to be had either. For all its window gazing and Kleenex, except for a rather comical argument with a priest, "The Sea Inside" hardly sniffs at the issue, preferring to look pityingly on its main character. The real man may well have balked at such attention. Then again, maybe a man who struggled to die for two and a half decades really wanted to be pitied. But don't expect "The Sea Inside" to make such a complex consideration. If the movie is a sea of anything, it's sentimentality. — Wayne Melton



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