A Wrinkle in Time: Arrugas/Wrinkles (Film Review)

The movie poster for Wrinkles

Every so often, a movie comes out that explores a subject most of us are uncomfortable with. These are movies I tend to shy away from. With so many challenges life has to offer I gravitate towards adventure, fantasy and comedy. It’s my way of escaping the world for a couple of hours. I also like a good drama now and then, or a film that takes me somewhere I’ve never been before. However, once in a while I’ll bite the bullet and see a film that takes me out of my comfort zone.

During this past year’s awards season, I had the opportunity to view a special film from Spain that examines the difficulties of dealing with old age. It’s animated so some of the elements are softened up (although not by much).

Based on Paco Roca´s comic, Wrinkles (“Arrugas” being the Spanish title) focuses on a friendship between two elderly men, Emilio and Miguel. Emilio, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, is helped by Miguel to behave as healthy as possible to avoid being taken to the feared top floor of the nursing home, also known as the lost causes or “assisted” floor.

Throughout the film, characters are introduced through acerbic dialogue, which gives the audience plenty of back story into their ailments and who they are. It’s also peppered with lots of tender exposition, which sets a realistic tone for the characters. Although filled with heavy subject matter, Wrinkles also has some humor that lightens the atmosphere.

With a production budget of approximately €2,000,000 the animation, although carefully paced, is not at the same level of other recent hand-drawn films, such as Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and The Illusionist. There are moments when movements become choppy and border primitive. However, the direction is excellent and does make you forget the animation is at times under par.

Wrinkles is a reminder of how delicate life is, and that after a lifetime of having children, enjoying accomplishments and exploring the world around us, we’ll eventually face our own mortality. That being said, the film also tells us that sometimes, even at the end of life, we can learn what it means to live.

The film was produced by Manuel Cristobal & Orion Ivern. Screenplay by Paco Roca, Ignacio Ferreras, Rosanna Cecchini & Ángel de la Cruz. Running time is 89 minutes. The film features Álvaro Guevara as Miguel and Tacho González as Emilio. Wrinkles was nominated for best animated feature of 2011 at the Annie Awards.

You can follow David Derks on Twitter at @dderks

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