'Gloria' Reflects The Mundanity Of Life

Mar 27, 2014

Gloria is a movie from Chile and you have to read subtitles, which marks the end of interest for many moviegoers. But just in case you're the exception, I will continue.

Gloria herself is a woman of a certain age who is pretty solitary but not miserable about it, and the story (such as it is) is about her efforts (such as they are) to alleviate that condition. She goes to a grownup dance joint as often as she can, and seems to enjoy herself there, whether she has a partner or not. And when she is approached by a man, she is responsive enough to go to be with him that very night.

But human relations of any kind in her world seem to be shallow and fragile and temporary. Her family gets together for a birthday party, apparently the first time they've been together in 10 years. When she has her grandchild in her arms, he cries and his father takes him away.

Both Gloria and her supposed new man are given to vanishing from social gatherings without a word to their partner, and Gloria is not willing to listen to explanations either in person or on the phone, where she also has little luck contacting her relatives.

Despite dialogue like, "My life is no life if you're not by my side," and, "I live in your heart," one is entitled to wonder how much these people really care about anybody.

And like so many movies nowadays, Gloria lacks setups and transitions. At one point, the man who was supposedly spurned for good appears with Gloria again with no explanation, leaving us to assume that the breakup hadn't been any big thing after all.

But isn't this the way we live, much of the time? Gloria suggests what most of our lives are like most of the time. Maybe that's even worth reading subtitles for.