Sex And Lucia (Lucía Y El Sexo)

Sex-And-LuciaSex and Lucia (Lucía y el sexo) is not a movie, it is poetry in motion. It is a Spanish movie written and directed by Julio Medem and released in 2001. It is said to be the best work of him and it reminds us why European cinema remains dear to us. Sex and Lucia starts merging reality and fiction like the sand and sea of the isolated island on which a part of this movie is shot. It is a movie which flows effortlessly between past, present, reality and fiction. Medem wrote the screenplay several times and the absurdity of the plot easily escapes a viewer unless he is absolutely conscious of watching it.


The movie is not so much about Lucia as it is about Lorenzo, her writer boyfriend but to say that would be to deny the multiple perspectives of the movie. It starts with a phone call which informs Lucia that Lorenzo died in a car accident and she runs away to a beautiful, remote island he had usually talked about. There she meets Carlos, a scuba diver and he takes her to a guest house run by Elena. The movie then moves six years back to a magical night when Lorenzo and Elena had sex which led to their daughter, to Lorenzo’s ignorance. We then come back to Madrid where Lucia, confesses her love for Lorenzo and his words when she finds him in a coffee shop. He instantly falls in love with her courage and this is when the sex comes in.

protectedimage The complexity and absurdity of the movie comes in when Lorenzo starts writing a story, the events of his real life and the events of his story start to merge with each other, he meets his daughter and ends up in bed with the babysitter. The turning point comes in when he’s in bed with baby sitter and the dog who was asked to guard the door, attacks and kills the child. I found this scene hurriedly done away with but it could be intended to only add to the confusion, the other reason cold be that it is all Lorenzo’s imagination, he starts breaking down after this event and to avoid the pain, he hurriedly moves past the death. Lorenzo keeps talking of finding a hole at the end of the story which takes you back to the middle and you can change it if you don’t like it. The death of the daughter is like a beautiful metaphor where she sinks down a hole on the white beach and goes to embrace her mermaid mother. The place is as evanescent as Lorenzo — the very island seems to be floating away, like a Muppet with attention-deficit disorder. Lucía arrives alone and begins to discover the secrets that Lorenzo kept hidden, a sticky path of obfuscation and lies. The characters who are oblivious of the absurdity of their realities try to find their way back by connecting dots of half-truths, their own fears and imagination. A linear description of the movie could mislead a viewer or it might help him see the alternatives given by Medem.


Mr. Medem’s obsession with a single, vertiginous moment — the point at which his characters discover that everything they thought they knew was wrong — should make for richer drama than this revelation does. He’s got a more than capable cast, but his craftsmanship is too diverting. He’s so smooth with the actors and so adept at rendering surfaces that he creates a level of expectation he’s not meeting as a writer.

– Abhyuday Gupta

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