Genre: Romantic Drama and Fantasy Running Time: 1 hr. 39 min.
Release Date: September 21st, 2007 MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Jose Bojorquez Actors: Johnathon Schaech, Sendi Bar, Angelica Maria, Nicholas Gonzalez, Seymour Cassel, Sonia Braga, Daniela Schmidt, Pablo Santos
lessed by the sea, Grecia (Sendi Bar) is discovered floating in the shallow waters of the beach, mysteriously alive and adorned in seashells. Celebrating her miraculous return from a boat trip in which her parents perished, the seaside town is enlivened by her presence, while the embayment itself produces plentiful catches of golden fish. But when Grecia’s sweetheart Benjamin (Pablo Santos) drowns in ominous black waters, she is believed to be cursed by the jealous ocean that wants her all to itself. When photographer Marcelo (Johnathon Schaech) ventures into the island community, he’s immediately infatuated by Grecia’s beauty, lured into struggling to win her for himself – despite the town’s hatred of the cursed woman and her newfound interests in Benjamin’s brother, Sebastian (Nicholas Gonzalez).
The most noticeable highlight of the picture is the effulgent cinematography by Chris Chomyn, and the way the camera endows every scene with picturesque radiance. Bright, dazzling colors are immediately apparent in every daytime shot, while the vibrancy of the people and exotic locale are gushingly aglow to match. The actors are likewise touched by bold hues, with everyone – including bit parts – seemingly basked in a luminosity rarely seen in contemporary cinema. It’s clearly artistic and symbolic, giving the fantasy elements an accentuation that might best be described as magical.
The film’s main themes include love, fear, hope, and the inability to alter an inevitable destiny. Grecia is cursed – anyone who loves her will die at the hands of the tempestuous sea. Sebastian and Marcelo create a love triangle with Grecia, but their ill-fated romances are not the central point of the film. The affair between Grecia and Marcelo is favorable and sweeping, but falls under the weight of the tenebrous powers and mythological interventions at play. And her romance with Sebastian is also forbidden, tragic, and cut short. By the unforeseeable conclusion, the film will abandon many conventional perspectives on a primary love story for a sense of unpredictability. What could have been a commonplace romantic drama is heavily influenced by facets of the incredible, which will discourage some but electrify those with an unbridled imagination on the same wavelength as director Jose Bojorquez’s specific passion.
Flashbacks to Grecia’s parents embarking on a journey across the sea educate the audience on her origins, but they are subtle and hallucinatory. They throw audiences out of the storyline, creating a sense of unfocused rambling, like the phantasms from the Day of the Dead celebration. The suspension of disbelief is not strong enough to cope with this influx of supernaturalism, which, toward the end, becomes fused with a semi-religious, partially superstitious labyrinth of cultural lore. But with melodic, uplifting music by Luis Bacalov, the pervasive personification of a body of water controlling fate itself, or even the disheartening inability of the main characters to prevail over mythical entities can’t stop “Sea of Dreams” from exhibiting entertainment value – chiefly in the form of an ethereal collision between the dream world and the real world.
– Mike Massie