I agree wholly with the “well-done but not entertaining.” I love Inarritu’s films and I’d rather see a good movie rather than an entertaining one any day. My girlfriend who saw it with me calls it the best movie she’s ever seen but she can’t tell why and I believe it has to do with her being Hispanic and understanding the culture more. I’ll take a stab at your discussion points with you.
- Yes, that’s his father. There are a couple ways to look at his father’s presence:
a. Not remembering his father was always a source of unrest in Uxbal’s life and one of his greatest fears for his children. Seeing his father was meant to be a way of bringing peace to his life and helping him move in. Interpretation a. is that his father may have also had the “gift” and was literally helping Uxbal move on, either by Uxbal communicating with him or he to Uxbal.
b. Interpretation b. is less radical. Seeing his father was something that Uxbal’s mind needed and his father wasn’t actually present but rather imaginative.
I didn’t catch a very great glimpse but I believe it was Uxbal himself. As he was getting near the end you see Uxbal sitting near the bed and it’s not a stretch to believe he would also have been on the ceiling.
I believe “the shadowy Ige” was to create two endings and to allow the viewer to choose which one he wanted. She left, she stayed, both have good arguments:
a. She comes back, i.e. “the happier ending.” First bit of evidence is the fact that she is shown returning and responds to Uxbal. Uxbal saw things corresponding to his “gift” but was not altogether hallucinogenic so it’s very possible it is her. Also, Ige is portrayed as a morally good character through her relationships with Uxbal and the children so her desertion is less likely, especially considering her husband would condemn her for screwing over Uxbal and his children.
b. She leaves, i.e. “the ‘this sucks’ ending.” She isn’t clearly shown is less important than something simpler: where’s Mateo? Ige took them both to school but Ana came home so that explains her in the final scene, but Mateo who is sharing a room with them isn’t shown. So either he may be asleep on the floor, or he was never picked up. I find it unlikely Uxbal even in his state wouldn’t go get Mateo, but if that is the first time Ige comes back she wouldn’t have picked him up so late.
I solely believe that Inarritu meant these contradictions less for the viewer to determine if she left or not and more to allow the viewer to choose which way he’d prefer. I still cannot choose because I can’t dismiss the other.
She likely was an alcoholic as when she offered Uxbal something to drink she followed up with “I haven’t been drinking it.” A non-alcoholic wouldn’t be so defensive. And she would definitely appear to be more than a masseuse but her not wishing to kiss Uxbal’s brother suggest that sex is not part of her “job.” I still would not be surprised if she was a prostitute as well, just maybe not with kissing or with her husband’s brother.
They were likely just bad heaters. I suppose that would be closer to not suitable for indoors, but I would just consider them not suitable. Uxbal himself said he knew they weren’t right.
Can’t help you there. I know it’s important for Uxbal to see his father’s face to remember him but as to whether it would still be in the condition it is I have no clue.
As said earlier Uxbal was not a very hallucinogenic person and it is a strip club so I think they really did have fake breasts on their heads. They were also shown before he started doing coke.
When I saw the movie it looked like the older man killed the younger man but my girlfriend says otherwise. Either way, there were likely some jilted lover feelings.
They were moths. Many spiritual practitioners often use moths an their animal totem, and the moths ability to move through the darkness is something Uxbal must do to move throughout the darkest days of his life. To me, they are symbolic for dieing. You see them slowly moving towards a corner of the room, becoming closer as Uxbal moves closer to his death. Moths are attracted to light, The Light is a popular event at death, Uxbal sees a bright light before his vision with his father, and so the moths can be gone because they have reached their objective.
I wrote this in a rush so I may not have elaborated as much as I would like but these are my general opinions.