Movie Review: Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008)

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Vicky Christina Barcelona weaves a tale of transformation of two best friend’s lives. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Christina (Scarlett Johannson) visit Barcelona for the summer unaware that the trip will challenge their current beliefs systems.

Vicky is a play by the rules type of woman. She is engaged to a man who adores her and is stable, handsome and successful. Christina is a free spirit who believes life should be full of adventure and admits that she doesn’t know what she wants romantically, but she does know what she doesn’t want.

When the pair arrive in Barcelona they meet a strikingly handsome painter, Antonio (Javier Bardem) and he offers them a weekend of passion in a city called Oviedo. Although Vicky resists at first, she decides to join Christina who takes Antonio up on the offer and the three of them venture off to explore the nearby city.

Vicky Christina Barcelona is a movie that explores the inner workings of two very different types of women. While Vicky’s structured life view is challenged when she meets Antonio and falls for him despite the fact that he begins to date Christina. Christina’s go with the flow attitude is challenged when Antonio’s ex wife Maria (Penelope Cruz) re enters the scenario and moves in with Antonio following a suicide attempt.

The question that lingered in my mind throughout the movie was about the concept of satisfaction in a relationship. Vicky’s life had all the makings of a safe trip toward senior adulthood, yet she was dissatisfied. Christina’s life was full of exploration and fun yet she was consistently dissatisfied.

Are we as women doomed to always wonder what is beyond the horizon, never truly appreciating what is outside our front door? What will it take for us to become content with what we have? Do we even want to be content?

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