Live is Life Review: Childhood Nostalgia and Adventure

The 2021 Spanish comedy drama, Live is Life is directed by Dani de la Torre and written by Albert Espinosa. The film stars Adrián Baena as Rodri, Juan del Pozo as Álvaro, Raúl del Pozo as Maza, David Rodríguez as Suso and Javier Casellas as Garriga alongside Marc Martínez, Sílvia Bel, Jon López, Fernando Morán, Mercedes Castro, Luisa Merelas, Covadonga Berdiñas , Lua Carteron, Toni Garrido, Laura Nuñez, Ana Villalon and María Villalon.

The film is 1 hour and 49 minutes long and has audio and subtitles available in English besides the original language. Josu Inchastegui is the cinematographer for the film with music by Manuel Riveriro.

– Netflix’s Live is Life Review Does Not Contain Spoilers –

Live is Life: Being a Child is a Superpower

The 2021 movie Live is Life borrows its name from the 1984 song by the Austrian pop rock band Opus. From Maradona’s warm-up to topping charts year after year, the song has a significant place in history. But, most importantly, it is the beautiful meaning hidden in the crevices of the song that implies how there is beauty to life when everyone gets together and looks out for one another. The movie is very much successful in capturing this particular essence as the story rolls by.

The film revolves around Rodri, who leaves every year for his grandparents’ place in the Galician town. In his hometown, things aren’t so sweet for him as he struggles with academics and gets bullied now and then. But, the situation in his grandparents’ place is different as the friends he has there connect to him and understand him.

Yet this particular year things seem to weigh down the friendship between the friend. Real-world problems and the impending loom of adulthood come knocking at their door and their friendship is constantly at the risk to be torn apart. But, the friends try to stay together, and connected and escape plan to San Juan in search of a magical flower that makes wishes come true and cures everything becomes that one adventure that brings them closer to one another than ever.

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Full of emotions and thought trains of fantasy, Live is Life is an ode to those friendships that we think are going to last forever and we do everything in our power to make sure they do. A summer rendezvous with adventure, this film is a heartfelt little ride to be on.

The five young actors who play the major group in the film are just full of life and determination. The friendship they share is natural and pure and, not for the moment do you feel like not investing in their story. In fact, most of the characters, be the pivotal ones or the ones on the sideline play an excellent role in keeping us engaged. The tiny friends’ group of five are almost reminiscent of our D&D clan from Stranger Things.

Apart from its child cast nailing it, it is the cinematography that takes away your heartbeats. The film was shot in unique and breathtaking locations in Galicia, with a special focus on La Ribeira Sacra. The other locations included Pantón, Sober, Quiroga, O’Saviñao, Monforte de Lemos, Esgos and Barcelona. Given how raw, vulnerable and pleasing these locations are, to get them perfectly captured on screen was one helluva task that the cinematographer Inchastegui makes sure he gets applause for.

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However, with the good comes the bad too and, unfortunately, it is the screenplay and narrative in Torre’s film that at times fails you or disappoints you. It is only because of sheer love for the fab five at the center that you will stick with the film. But, if the performances were not convincing enough, the film would not be able to simply thrive on its weak and rapid screenplay.

Live is Life: Final Verdict

With all that being said, Live is Life is a movie that I personally enjoyed. It is relatable to me in various aspects, starting from visiting the countryside grandparents’ place to having a set of friends with whom you can embark on an adventure, the film did hit the right notes of reliability and nostalgia.

In the broader picture, I did not mind the script a lot but, there are melodramatic moments that I think could have been easily avoided to make this a more polished story. It is definitely different from the kinda stories Dani de la Torre is used to offering us on screen and, he seems to have done a decent job putting across a different yet thoughtful piece of cinema.

Distributed by Warner Bros., Live is Life now streaming on Netflix.

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