A review by Angelica Mansfield October 31, 2018 from retriever.umbc.edu
“The Night My Mother Killed My Father” (Spain 2016) directed by Inés París, is a comedic film focused on Isabel París, an aspiring actress who wants to be cast in her husband Ángel’s mystery film. In order to accomplish this, she, with the help of her ex-husband Carlos and his pretend girlfriend Alex, puts on an “audition” in which she pretends to murder Carlos and leaves it up to her husband and friend to figure it out.
Her plan becomes complicated when Ángel tries to cover up the “murder” by rolling Carlos’ body and his car down a ravine. The dramatic irony is successfully executed throughout the movie, which provides much of the humor. The audience erupted in laughter when Diego Peretti began to urinate on the supposedly dead Carlos until he eventually broke character and gasped as he was rolled into a ravine.
Overall, the movie was enjoyable and humorous. The audience was left satisfied at the very end of the movie, having learned that Carlos was not dead (despite having many opportunities to be) and that Isabel was able to get the lead role in her husband’s movie.
The title of this movie contributes to the suspense and meaning of the film. From the title, the audience obviously realizes that somebody is going to die at some point in the movie. In the beginning, Ángel is introduced and suggested to be the one that will be killed. However, the movie’s title becomes much more diluted as each character is introduced to the audience.
It keeps the audience on its toes while they are constantly waiting for a death to occur. In the second to last scene, when Carlos is presumed dead after being hit by a car, the audience seems to take a breath because someone has finally died only to find out that Carlos had survived the accident.
Inés París was a leading director in the Association of Women Filmmakers and Media. Through her movies, she desired to debunk the fallacies that there is equal opportunity for all and that all you need is talent. She also believed that there is a sort of “invisible hand” that represses women and causes them to be held to high scrutiny in the media industry.
In “The Night My Mother Killed My Father,” there is a heavy reflection of París’ ideals and experiences in the media. Isabel has just turned 40 and she can’t even secure a spot in her own husband’s film. Many aging actresses can resonate with this as directors continue to look for younger and more attractive actresses to cast for their films.
On the other hand, in order to make a name for themselves, some younger actresses must play ditsy female characters. Alex, played by a relatively new actress, was used as comic relief throughout most of the movie and could be considered the most annoying character in it. Women do not have access to the variety of roles that their male counterparts do.
Inés París manages to keep the audience captivated and still includes comments on modern society. She picked a creative title that added a lot to the movie. Each joke really hit its mark among the diverse audience. Her movie delves into long-standing issues of sexism while remaining light-hearted in its entirety. This comical movie is an impressive feat indeed.