This film was screened at Fantastic Fest
The complex, surreal “Amazing Elisa” is a film that boldly and proudly defies categorization. Part fantasy, relationship drama, dark comedy, superhero film, and feminist manifesto, this wild and wicked story from the mind of writer / director Sadrac González-Perellón is an exercise in creativity, sex, and violence.
The narrative, told in chapters, follows three main story lines that intersect in the most surprising ways. Twelve-year-old Elisa (Jana San Antonio) is obsessed with the rebel badass heroine from her favorite comic book. Elisa seems like a normal preteen, except she is convinced that she also possesses real superpowers and wants to prove it by bending spoons and getting stabbed. We learn that she is suffering with the trauma of losing her mother, and Elisa has become determined to avenge her death. The second story line focuses on the selfish artist Hector (Asier Etxeandia), who lives an emotionally distant life with his wheelchair-bound wife Ursula (Silvia Abascal). The third story line is all about a woman in black who just may be the real-life superhero that Elisa so lovingly admires.
There’s a potent feminist angle to the story that made me love it even more, as the film creates a world filled with strong women who are in total and complete control and have no problem grabbing the reins. The females in this story are fearless at asserting themselves when the situation warrants, be it turning the tables on a home intruder, standing up for a physically abused neighbor, or fending off unwanted sexual advances and harassment from a stranger in a diner.
“Amazing Elisa” is a bizarre thriller that’s unafraid of diving into some very dark and morbid places. The deadpan performances, all terrific, are the magic parallel to the film’s themes and tone. González-Perellón’s storytelling is as effective as his direction, with plenty of patience to set up a conclusion that’s shocking, memorable, and absolutely perfect in every way. What an exciting, original piece of cinema.
By: Louisa Moore