Mesmerizing and Unforgettable
Writing a review of Sunday’s Illness poses a difficult dilemma for me. It’s filled with surprises, but most of the pleasure while watching this unique movie comes from discovering those moments on your own. Anything I tell you could spoil the treat you’re in for when you choose to see it. With that in mind, I will mention how timely Sunday’s Illness seems to me. In real life now we are watching children of all ages being taken from their parents, and this motion picture from Spain shows how early abandonment can scar a child for life.
It’s also safe for me to explain that the two main characters, apart for thirty years or more, have lived very different lives. The elegant mother (Susi Sánchez) is used to luxury and empowerment. The enigmatic daughter (Bárbara Lennie) seems almost lost in her day-by-day existence.
Leaving a child who’s only eight
should be something that we all hate.
The daughter now has one main goal:
to find her mom and bare her soul.
"Sunday’s Illness" takes us through pain
and love and loss. What do we gain?
A masterpiece up on the screen
with perfect balance in each scene.
The film consumes our mind and heart.
What happened to make these two part?
How can they mend what has gone wrong?
It will take more than just one song.
“Dream a Little Dream of Me” is the lovely tune that starts to bring this walking-wounded pair together. Be sure to watch for that special scene.
I particularly love Ricardo de Gracia’s cinematography in Sunday’s Illness. What a masterful emphasis on the contrasting environments of the two women, even to the point of different -- but most appropriate -- color palettes! The gorgeous mixing of light and dark scenes enhances the story and the tone of every sequence.
And the acting is quite impressive. Both main characters slowly draw us into their worlds and make us care about what happens to them. We beg to know them better as each frame of the film teases us along.
Directed and written with great care by Ramón Salazar, Sunday’s Illness is one of the best movies so far this year. It avoids sentimentality while mesmerizing us with what’s happening on screen -- whether it’s sadness, anger, silence, kindness, compassion or even just two women giving a dog a bath.
No matter how you feel about the ending, you’ll know you’ve seen something you can never forget.
(Released by Netflix. Spanish title: La Enfermedad del Domingo. Spanish with English subtitles.)
For more info about this film, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.