Viridiana by Luis Buñuel (1961, America/Spain) is one of Buñuel’s works that was loosely based on Halma, a novel by Benito Pérez Galdós. The film was initially banned due to the suggestive ending but the final ending seen in the film is disputed to be more suggestive as it implies a ménage à trois between the titular Viridiana, Jorge and Ramona.
Buñuel is known for his surrealism imagery in his films and the usage of religion. The film was deemed to be blasphemous due to the portrayal of Viridiana and her actions which is unfit for a Nun-to-be. The suggestiveness of the scene where her uncle Don Jaime wanting to marry her is also not politically and morally correct for the audiences.
After the death of Don Jaime, Viridiana uses her inherited money to help the poor as she doesn’t want to have anything related to her uncle. Things took a wrong turn when Jorge and Viridiana returned home from a business trip to see the paupers in their house. A fight ensues and Viridiana almost got raped. She managed to resist until Jorge regained consciousness which he manipulated another beggar to kill the rapist.
Buñuel has certain way of filming that when you see his films, you will know it is by him.
“Buñuel nearly always made Buñuel films” – Ingmar Bergman
After watching the film, it took me awhile to absorb the film. I didn’t enjoy the film, but I didn’t hate it too. It gives me a sense of how I think fate would play out if you decide to go along with what you are given. Viridiana was given a choice to meet her uncle and she could refuse but in the encouragement of the Mother Superior and perhaps by her belief of God, she chose to visit her uncle. This resulted in what happened in the film where she starts to lose her own identity and life – of being a Nun, of having an uncle and even meeting her cousin.
However, the part that I felt good about the film is the narrative itself because it flows coherently and I thought that the part on how the character Don Jaime played out was brilliant. I was taken aback where Don Jaime actually wanted to make advances on Viridiana as it seemed to be morally incorrect. To be honest, I didn’t think highly of this film even though it won the Palme D’Or in the 1961 Cannes Film Festival and it being the 37th greatest film in Sights and Sounds poll in 2012. I personally enjoy film because of the narrative, not just the awards it won or how great everyone else said it was, and I am actually impressed with how the narrative goes.
I thought the wedding gown/veil was an iconic feature of the film and I wanted to feature it in the banner. I purposely drew Viridiana eyes shut because I wanted to show the part where she was struggling with her choices. – She doesn’t show it in her dialogues or face, but you could see it in her eyes throughout the film – . I added in the color yellow and pink at the background as the colors represents Viridiana’s beauty and the love in the film.
About the author: Jasper Yeo loves to ‘cook up’ stories and of course ,food. He also loves to draw and his dream job is to be a writer or a chef.
1. En.wikipedia.org. 1961. Viridiana – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viridiana [Accessed: 23 Jun 2013].
2. IMDb. 1990. Viridiana (1961) – Plot Summary. [online] Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055601/plotsummary [Accessed: 23 Jun 2013].
3. En.wikipedia.org. 1900. Luis Buñuel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Bu%C3%B1uel [Accessed: 23 Jun 2013].