Under the Volcano

Polish Poster

Dia de los Meurtos is a magical day in Mexican culture. The day that you mourn for the people in your life that have passed, but you also pray for the people in your that are merely missing to come back to you. Geoffrey Firman goes to a small church and asks the Virgin Mary for return of his estranged wife. But he seems to be asking for something more than that.

Geoffrey Firman is a drunk. This a fact. But Geoffrey is also a person with self-doubt, self-respect, and a vast well of love for the two people that surround him. Early on he gets his wish and his wife returns to him, hoping that she will be able to convince him to sober up. But this isn’t ever going to happen. With some drunks they are just too far gone to be truly helped. Instead Geoff, his wife and his half-brother wonder Cuernavaca in search of companionship that alludes all three of them and ultimately this search gets all three into trouble.

Geoffrey Firman is played really well by Albert Finney. Finney is an amazing actor that is able to externalize every emotion his character is going through. He doesn’t pull any tricks, in fact if you looked at him you wouldn’t have known that he was a drunk. It would only be when he spoke that you would realize he wasn’t quite right. Finney makes Geoffrey speak in earnest outbursts that come up as fractures of what he really wants to say. When he is declaring his love for his estranged wife, he talks in abstracts and in Spanish, something his wife can’t understand. Geoffrey bursts with regret and with self-pity. He wants so desperately to stop fucking his life up, but no matter how hard he tries, he will never succeed. He is destined to let the drink consume him. He will burst through to the other side of existence just like the volcano that is threatening to burst in this small southern town.

 

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