Amor Real (2004)
The delirious passion and angst of Mexican telenovela Amor Real gets a condensed treatment on this concise DVD presentation. Amor Real tells the story of Matilde Penalver (Adela Noriega), a general's daughter in love with a common soldier named Adolfo Solis (Mauricio Islas), but who is tricked by her status-conscious mother into marrying a wealthy landowner Manuel Fuentes Guerra (Fernando Colunga). But Manuel has his own baggage--he's a bastard, only acknowledged by his father as the old man lay
dying. When Matilde learns the truth, she and Adolfo try to run away, but Manuel catches her and carries her off to his hacienda, where their tempestuous marriage is tested all the more when Adolfo arrives in the guise of Manuel's new administrator. From there, the plot of Amor Real explodes in a dozen directions, including the romance of Matilde's unscrupulous brother and a wealthy spinster; the struggle within the household between Matilde and the housekeeper, who also loves Manuel; Adolfo's marriage to a young woman dying of tuberculosis; the scheming of Manuel's cousin to disinherit him; revolution; kidnapping; the murder of a priest; steamy sex; and much, much more, building to an epic conclusion.
Though at times outrageously melodramatic, Amor Real has the juggernaut plotting of a Victor Hugo novel--the many story threads are so skillfully interwoven and lurch from joy to disaster with such vigor that it's impossible not to get swept away. Making the experience even more dizzying is that this DVD is basically a high-points compilation, condensing 95 episodes into a 4 1/2 hour sprint. Between the careful editing and the charismatic cast, the story is easy to follow and giddy in its swiftness. Fans of the full series may find that this abridged version undercuts the pathos of the original, but for the uninitiated, it's a hugely enjoyable high-energy romp. --Bret Fetzer … More
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