Visual Artist

Goya’s Ghosts (2006)


Goyas Ghosts (2006)I didn’t know what to expect from this film, deciding to go in more or less to Goya’s Ghosts (2006) that focused more of the effects of one of the artist Francisco De Goya‘s (Stellan Skargard) models who was imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition, based on the results of The Question test, which is more a form of torture than any real test that can be respected. All on the basis that Ines’ (Natalie Portman) not eating pork in a tavern, leading to one possible outcome…of course she has to be Jewish, not that she doesn’t like the meat for its flavor, that wont do.

Her worried father Tomás Bilbatúa (José Luis Gómez) turns to the painter to the king De Goya who had earlier painted one Brother Lorenzo (Javier Bardem) who is more open to new ideas and persuasion, and much more after he himself is put to the question over dinner. All the money in the world and bribes fall on deaf ears when the reach the Inquisitor General (Michael Lonsdale) who is one of the most unlikable characters I have come across.

And then the French Revolution reaches Spain when Napoleon’s Men invade, and word of the Royal deaths by the guillotine, great change comes for the country and everyone who we once knew, their situations are transformed before our eyes.

Ines’ is lost to the jail of the Inquisition awaiting trial, thought dead. De Goya has become death, and is still producing work, both painting and etchings that depicts the brutality of the revolution. And Brother Lorenzo has gone, made an outlaw of Spain by the church. A dramatic change of events, that loosely resemble the facts.  Thankfully the revolution brings an end to the inquisition, setting free the now mentally scarred, deformed Ines’ who wants only to find her daughter. Reuniting her with her former painter, who takes up the cause, getting in contact with the now re-instated and enlightened Lorenzo who is believed to be the father, who wants to brush this situation under the carpet.

A melancholic final act that sees the characters meet their destiny, each victims of the revolution that has descended the country, ravaging and pillaging the innocent citizens of Spain. Goya remains a tower of strength for the former model now no more than a shadow of her former self. I really feel for Lorenzo, a victim of his time, and enlightened beliefs as the inquisition becomes reinstated, he doesn’t give into repenting, he’s done nothing wrong, it was the strict hand of the church, he has gone on the longest journey, from the state of mind of the church, on the fringe new thinking, held back by the majority, he cannot escape his roots that come back to haunt him.

Obviously a film that features De Goya cannot, not feature his work which it does in ample amount, and not too much, it illustrates the events of the time, as his work did so beautifully. It doesn’t overshadow the main events, making them richer for being on the sidelines.

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2 responses

  1. Interesting review, I may check this out.

    March 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    • Thanks for the comment, It’s worth a look at least, was nice to see such an epic artist brought to life, he wasn’t the centre of the film which added to the context and period of the film.

      March 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm

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