For the skeptics, Sidewalls proves that it is possible for a romantic movie to be both philosophical and adorable. Martin and Mariana live in the same building in Buenos Aires, a budding city that becomes more and more bustling as technology increases and human interactions fade away.
The two have a lot in common; both are designers. He does web design and she, a failed architect, does window designs. They enjoy American music, the same movies, and have similar interests, but neither knows the other exists.
As any human being does, each of the two try their hand at dating, but their relationships are always shallow and full of holes and longing. It is as if the two were created for each other. The fact that a relationship that has the potential to be exciting and satisfying for both of them is so close but so far away is almost tragic.
The film is mostly in Spanish with English subtitles. It is narrated by the two would-be lovers, who remain unbeknownst to each other despite their many close encounters.
There are some beautiful shots of the buildings in Buenos Aires (especially the sidewalls or medianeras, for which the film is named). The film also features some beautiful photography as well as a few animations, but this quirky and raw tale would be nothing without its script.
To say that this film was ‘well-scripted’ would be the understatement of the century. It is so ingeniously scripted and poetic without trying to be. It comes off as effortless and artistic, and brings the film to a new level of wonderful. It would be hard for someone not to like this movie based on the script alone.
Another thing that is so mind-blowing about Sidewalls is the fact that it is full of comparisons to everyday life. From Where’s Wally books to the faded ads on the sidewalls in the city to the way the dogs interact with humans and with each other, this film does a remarkable job of making things that once seemed so complicated so simple, but more complex at the same time. Opposites are no longer mutually exclusive. Almost everything is a metaphor for life. Each object encountered is much like a mirror for humankind to look into and see what it has become. We are not perfect, but these imperfections are meant to be embraced, for they are what make us human.
The film ends suddenly, which is disappointing, but the sudden ending does not take much away from the film itself. The entire thing is beautiful, and viewers are sure to fall in love with it instantly.