7 Days In Havana

"Good"

7 Days In Havana Review


There's plenty of colour and culture in this anthology, which could have been titled La Habana Te Amo, to match the similarly uneven Paris Je T'Aime and New York I Love You. It has moments of artistic inventiveness, but barely breaks the surface.

On Monday, an American (Hutcherson) moves to Havana to start film school, connecting with a friend (Cruz) who takes him for a night on the town. Tuesday, filmmaker Kusturica arrives to accept an award, then escapes to a jazz club with his driver (Abreu). Wednesday, a Spaniard (Bruhl) tries to recruit a Cuban singer (Estevez) to work in Europe, but her baseball-player boyfriend (Benitez) has other plans. Thursday, a Palestinian (Suleiman) struggles to make sense of the local culture. Friday, a teen (Herrera) is put through a ritual to cure her lesbian tendencies. Saturday, a woman (Ibarra) tries to hold her family together by working two high-pressure jobs. And Sunday, a woman (Amore) obeys the Virgin and gets her family to install a pond in her sitting room.

Each film is shot in its director's style. The highlights are both nearly silent: Noe's dark and creepy film, which seems to be lit by bonfires, and Sulieman's witty observational comedy, framed like a Wes Anderson jaunt. But the shorts all raise serious issues without exploring them. Sexuality and gender, foreign interlopers, oppression, poverty and escape are important in any society, but take on added interest in a country like Cuba. So it's frustrating that they're left hanging in the breeze by Padura's screenplay.

That said, there's a range of engaging, fascinating characters, including several who pop up in multiple segments. Standouts include the expressive Estevez, who makes Cecilia's multi-faceted dilemma especially vivid, and Ibarra, who grounds the film's most complex chapter. These characters maintain their dignity even when the script throws them into melodrama.

As a glimpse of day-to-day Havana, there's a lot to enjoy as scenes shift between comedy, romance and drama. What the film lacks in depth it makes up for in casting and production values, with actors and filmmakers who know how to bring even the slightest of situations to life in interesting ways. If the script had bothered to grapple with what the big issues mean for these characters and for us as outsiders, it would be essential viewing.



7 Days In Havana

Facts and Figures

Run time: 129 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 30th May 2012

Budget: $3.8M

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Pablo Trapero, , , Juan Carlos Tabio, Gaspar Noe,

Producer: Laurent Baudens, Didar Domehri, Alvaro Longoria, Gael Nouaille, Fabien Pisani

Starring: as Teddy Atkins, as Leonardo, as Actor, Melissa Rivera as Linda, as Himself, Sebastián Barriuso as Conductor Elia Suleiman

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.