(Original Title: Mar Adentro)
It is true that sometimes we fall into the trap of becoming greedy and ungrateful, we take things for granted and forget to appreciate how lucky we are. We try to earn more, to reach places, without realising that even being able to choose, is a privilege in itself. The Sea Inside is a movie that reminds its audience of all this. Dealing with an extremely difficult and delicate topic, The Sea Inside is based on a real story, and it definitely manages to show its viewers that, at times, the most difficult things are indeed the simplest ones.
Ramón Sampedro, played by Javier Bardem, is a quadriplegic man, who lives in Galicia, Spain. Without being able to move at all, Ramón is being taken care of by his brother and his family, who try really hard to create the best possible environment for him and to keep him as happy as he can be considering the circumstances. However, Ramón doesn’t seem to want to hold on to this life. Tired of being dependant on everyone else, of feeling useless and of being confined to bed, he asks for permission to end his life.
Euthanasia is one of the most controversial and debatable matters, but it seems to also be the only thing on Ramón’s mind. He has spent almost three decades building his case, but still no court will grant him permission to go ahead with it. As his story gains publicity, he is approached by many people, of whom some understand and support his cause, while others try to show him that life is worth living, no matter what the difficulties.
The Sea Inside is a remarkable movie, one that sticks with you for a long time after you’ve seen it. It doesn’t try to set an example, nor take sides, but it shows, in the most sentimental and humanitarian way, everyone’s right to choose life or death. Straight-forward and harsh, The Sea Inside tells things that we might have imagined and thought of from time to time, but never really explored. What would one of us do if we were in Ramón’s place? This is a movie that reminds us that choices and decisions cannot be made rationally nor sentimentally; it takes a good combination of both in order to choose the right way to proceed.
There is no doubt that Javier Bardem gives one of the greatest performances in his career here. Directed and written by Alejandro Amenábar (known for The Others) The Sea Inside won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and numerous other awards, and gained wide recognition despite the fact that it’s not at all an ‘easy’ movie, entertaining or light. It’s a film that makes one think, evaluate and weigh options, before deciding that living life in one’s own terms may be the most important thing in the world.