El Abrazo De La Serpiente (Embrace Of The Serpent) – **(*)

Posted: July 16, 2016 in 2015, Adventure, Black & White, Columbia, Drama, Historical, XX1/2

In an attempt to escape the madness of this world, watching Columbian arthouse favorite El Abrazo De La Serpiente looked like the best possible solution. A botanical scientist is following a trail in the Columbian amazone to find a rare and powerful healing plant. He gets the help from an older shaman, who – decades before – escorted a German explorer along the same trail. The movie switches back and forth between the two journeys.

The synopsis is exciting, the trailer look promising, the recommendations and ratings on movie websites are a big draw… but in the end, it kind of disappoints. It starts off great. The first half of the movie is excellent. The jungle looks stunning (even in back & white) and the (non professional) performances of both the younger and the older indigenous healer are fascinating. But then the movie becomes a hotchpotch of all kinds of things that don’t make any sense. Sure it’s poetic and filled with symbolism, but it’s like the story grabs you tight for the first hour and then drops you in a mess, which you have to figure out yourself. That can be fine for some, but not if you’re in a mood to just escape the madness of this world.

Not sure how a Flemish actor like Jan Bijvoet got cast as a German doctor in a Columbian movie, but he’s actually pretty good.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4285496

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