Goya’s Ghosts

Milos Forman’s new film, Goya´s Ghosts, offers a biography (and it seems that the polemic Czech director never gets tired of the genre) of one of the most important painters in all history, the genuine and genial Goya, interpreted by Stellan Skarsgård. But it must be said, that the appeal of a new Goya´s biography is used in this case as a mere excuse for representing a critical vision of Spain during that twisted time of darkness and light. Goya´s role gets quickly eclipsed by another superb performance by Javier Bardem, who is able to provoke, equally, love and hate in the eyes of the spectator. Goya´s artwork has a secondary role in the plot, since Forman is more obsessed with showing the fight between the reason of the French Illustration and the madness of religious fanaticism, with the obsolete role of a numb monarchy in the middle. And he certainly achieves it.

On the other hand, it is a pity that such an interesting figure as Goya himself does not get more importance in a film whose title points directly to him. Maybe, we will have to wait until Forman decides to make a film about the Spanish Inquisition (or a new biography of its leader, Torquemada) to get an accurate description of the genial painter from Aragon.

Milos Forman´s film passes the test of the Spanish Inquisition, but somebody should teach him some more lessons of history: regarding how the Spanish citizens were able to fight the French oppressor without such a huge help from the British, as he wants us to believe on screen.

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