Sophie Nyweide, Eduardo Verastegui
Alejandro Gomez Monteverde
is billed as a love story, but that’s a misnomer; the crux of the film isn’t love but rather those intense and unexpected events that punctuate life and change one’s course. Where a typical love story is often fantastical, the characters and situations in Bella
are penetratingly real, with the grit, glare and sorrow that so often invades reality. Mexican director/writer Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, a new talent to watch, has developed a strong style of close-ups, sharp angles and other techniques that are fresh yet seamlessly poetic. Even more impressive is Monteverde’s ability to portray a feeling, thought or a full moment in a scene with nothing but camera angles, sound and an actor’s expression or gesture. Above all, however, Monteverde has succeeded in eliciting deep empathy and emotion, and that is what makes this film a winner.