Truman is a delicate drama about friendship and death. It begins with Tomás (Javier Cámara) leaving his home and family in Canada to fly to Madrid, Spain. Tomás is going there to spend a few days with his best friend Julián (Ricardo Darín). His final visit. Soon Julián is going to die. Chemotherapy treatments are offered, but since there is no possible cure, Julián says no thanks. He wants to live, not spend time in a hospital. And besides, Julián has things to do before he leaves. He is most concerned with finding an adoptive family for Truman, his beloved dog. He is an actor and has limited funds, but Tomás offers to pay for everything while he’s in Madrid. This is his parting gift. So Julián proposes that go to Amsterdam and pay a unnanounced one-day visit to his son who is a studying there, maybe the last time Julián sees his son. At first Tomás seems a bit surprised at Julián’s calm demeanor. Julián has no time to get upset or angry. When a man Julián wronged (Julián slept with the man’s wife) tells him he is sorry to have heard of Julián’s death, Julián later feels compelled to apologize for causing so much grief and trouble to his marriage. Life is too short to hold grudges. Yes, this a film about death. Yet, Truman is not morbid and, apart from a short scene at a doctor’s office, you are not going to see deathbed confessions. We are going to celebrate life. Ricardo Darín and Javier Cámara don’t need much dialogue to show us how much the two friends love one another. Teary eyes, heavy sighing and a smile is enough to understand the other person’s feelings. Director Cesc Gay has not fallen into the trap of heavy-handed melodramas. Truman is the most moving I’ve seen this year.
José Luis Gómez
Mostly in Spanish and English with English subtitles.