Background Check?

        If someone came up to you with red smeared all over their hands, what would your first thought be? Perhaps “Oh My God, this person is a murderer!” comes to mind. Now, what if you knew that the person was a painter? That little bit of information would probably stop the jump heading straight into such a ridiculous conclusion. It would help avoid that “what the heck is your issue?” look from those around you as well. See, that is why background information is important. Luis Buñuel’s 1954 film Los Abismos de Pasion does not seem concerned with this fact.

        Luis Buñuel decided to jump straight into the action with his film. Background information is not necessary, who needs it?! When we meet all of the characters we discover that they are all selfish, egotistical jerks. Catalina (Irasema Dilian) and Alejandro (Jorge Mistral) are the worst of all. Catalina is a cruel woman. The way she treats Isabel (Lilia Prado) and mocks her constantly is shameful. The way she treats her husband (Ernesto Alonzo) and flaunts her love for another man in his face is absolutely terrible. Alejandro is no better. He is a violent, arrogant, evil man. There are no emotions in him except rage. He is not even nice to the girl he supposedly loves. The way they are with each other makes one question where that love ran away too.

        This brings us back to the importance of background information. In Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel Wuthering Heights, which this movie is based off of, it tells all about the two main characters childhood and the love and betrayal that they experience. It helps the readers understand why the characters are the way they are. The 1954 film does not have any of this. The whole time, the audience is left wondering what in the world is wrong with these people. We see over the top bitterness and cruelty. The audience is left wondering why it has to be this way. If someone had not read the book, he or she would not get why. All they would see are those horrible people running around ruining each other’s lives with no explanation. That is why background information is always important in book and film.

Molly Gigantet