A few days ago, I shared great news from the Instituto Cervantes Manila. The annual PELÍCULA – Spanish Film Festival is back. For the 20th year, the festival is online for the second time due to the pandemic.
This is a real challenge, but one that online platforms can handle. Instituto Cervantes Manila has prepared a website – http://www.pelikula.es – for easy access. The list of movies, times and tickets are all there. Note that you can watch all entries for FREE.
The first film I watched was the El Cover (2021) from the Official Section, directed and written by Secun De La Rosa.
El Cover (2021)
Director: Secun De La Rosa
Dani is a young man with an inner conflict that paralyzes him: he loves music, but is afraid of falling like his father, and he suffers thinking that he is one more like his grandfather, so he decides not to try. That summer, between his job as a waiter and nights with friends, he meets Adele. With her, he discovers the struggle of anonymous singers, love, and what it means not to be one more.
Thoughts on El Cover (2021)
Dani meets up with his friend and his mother at the start of the film. It turns out they were both set to audition for a musical. Sadly, things did not go their way. Why? Because, in the end, they are just a stand-in, a person who covers in for someone.
From there, we understand what the title implies. But there is more to it than that. El Cover or The Cover by Secun De La Rosa showed us the many faces of the word cover, starting with our main character Dani.
The way I see it, Dani is at the age where he knows what he wants. But due to the things he experienced and witnessed, he feels conflicted and denies himself of his dreams. Thus, he habitually covers his true feelings by saying that he does not care about music or musicians. For Dani, actors and singers cover who they are by pretending to be someone else on stage. And that, for him, is equivalent to lying.
In Benidorm, artists and audience participate in the same lie, turning it into truth.Dani – El Cover (2021)
But later he meets new friends Adele and Amy, both of whom work as singers/impersonators in a nearby place. From there, he began to see and experience the world he steers clear. Eventually, with the help of the new love – Sandra (stage name Adele), Dani’s heart slowly opens, and he begins to see the world Sandra sees. Finally, Dani realized that you need to have more enthusiasm than fear.
El Cover or The Cover by Secun De La Rosa is a simple yet meaningful story. I enjoyed everything, especially the music. You see, I grew up in a house where my abuelito and abuelita play different genres of Spanish music every weekend. So, I completely appreciate the selection of songs in the film. It made me understand how the characters feel.
Speaking of characters and feelings, I like the way they presented the story of Sandra’s friend. Amy, as you might have guessed, is a stage name because she impersonates Amy Winehouse. Even if she does not work, she never dissociates herself from the character. Why? Mainly because she is as comfortable being Amy as she is comfortable being herself.
Unlike Dani, Amy embraces and is passionate about her alter ego. Unfortunately, people who do not understand invalidate it. The scene where Amy performed and a group of guys were unruly was the turning point. The situation caused a fight between Sandra and Dani. It also paved the way for Dani to uncover his true self.
El Cover (2021) Directed by Secun De La Rosa