Sidewalls is a quirky indie Argentinian movie that explores the explosive and divisive nature of today’s metropolises on our life styles. Directed by Gustavo Taretto, the film uses Buenos Aires, as the setting of the general delineation of the human culture.
Sidewalls’ two protagonists Martin and Mariana, provide semi-philosophical commentary to a mostly voice-over based narrative. Both represent the common dysfunctional state of being singles in a large city. Each lives in tiny apartment, suffers from new age phobias and is terribly lonely person in need of love, peace and companionship in a city of millions of people. “Sidewalls” examines multiple factors that have led to this compartmentalization of individuals from each other. It lays the blame on 21st century metropolises with their daunting, congested and ever-changing skylines, making the city uglier every turn and the people living in them strangers to one another. It takes a look at the web of cables connecting the city, but ironically making it’s inhabitants more isolated. For instance, Martin and Mariana live on the same block but never meet. Their first interaction is through a virtual chat room.
Mariana is an architect and Martin is a web designer, and through their eyes we see the beauty of the architecture of Buenos Aires. Mariana explains in the movie that Sidewalls are the ugly sides of the buildings that no one pays attention to, that have all the repair marks, have cracks or are covered with ugly adverting. I believe Taretto is trying to say that people are the “Sidewalls” to this fast paced life of the new world. They are the marginalized, ignored and fractured remains of new millennium.
The movie however, on a whole has a hopeful comical feel to it. Whether it’s Mariana ditching her date on the floor of a 20th floor apartment building, or Martin’s romance with his dog walker, you will find yourself smiling often.
I personally thought the movie lost steam in certain places and when I checked online I found that it was originally made as a short film. When it did really well, the producers went back and expanded which could explain why it was so slow sometimes.
It’s a bittersweet movie with solid performances from the leads Javier Drolas and Pilar Lopez and worthwhile watching once.