- 1 hr 30 min
Viridiana is a Spanish-Mexican film from 1961 directed by Luis BuÃ±uel and starring Silvia Pinal, Francisco Rabal, and Fernando Rey. It follows the story of a young novice named Viridiana who is about to take her final vows as a nun. Before she does so, she visits her only living relative, her uncle Don Jaime, whom she has never met before.
Despite initial discomfort, Viridiana agrees to stay with Don Jaime for a few days. However, things take a dark turn when Don Jaime becomes obsessed with Viridiana and attempts to rape her. After failing to do so, he hires a group of beggars to help him exact his revenge on society by organizing a blasphemous dinner party.
The film is a biting critique of the Catholic Church and its moral values, as well as a study of human nature and its capacity for hypocrisy and cruelty. It is characterized by BuÃ±uel's signature surrealistic style, combining dreamlike imagery with harsh social commentary.
At its core, Viridiana is a film about power and its corrupting influence. Don Jaime, a wealthy landowner, believes that he can do whatever he pleases simply because he has the means to do so. Meanwhile, Viridiana, a woman of humble origins, is subjected to the whims of those who hold power over her, whether it be her uncle or the beggars he hires.
Through its exploration of power dynamics, the film raises questions about morality and social responsibility. What is the role of the individual in society, and what duties does he or she owe to others? Can a person truly live a virtuous life in a world that is inherently corrupt?
Viridiana is also notable for its use of religious symbolism and imagery. The titular character is named after Saint Veronica, who famously wiped the face of Jesus with a cloth. Similarly, Viridiana's dress features an image of the Virgin Mary, further emphasizing her connection to Catholicism.
However, the film also subverts religious iconography, using it to mock the Church and its teachings. Don Jaime's dinner party includes a reenactment of the Last Supper, complete with a Christ figure played by a beggar. The blasphemous nature of the scene is made even more apparent by the fact that the beggar's face is covered in sores, suggesting that he may be suffering from leprosy.
Ultimately, Viridiana is a deeply thought-provoking film that challenges its viewers to question the status quo and their own place in society. It is a testament to BuÃ±uel's genius as a filmmaker and his ability to use surrealism to shed light on difficult and uncomfortable truths.
Viridiana is a 1961 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.1.