The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) (The Sea Within) 2004

The Sea Inside

Critics Consensus

Held aloft by a transfixing performance from Javier Bardem as a terminally ill man who chooses to die, The Sea Inside transcends its melodramatic story with tenderness and grace.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 135

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 36,516

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Movie Info

Ramón Sampedro (Javier Bardem) is a Spanish ship mechanic and part-time poet who is left a quadriplegic after a diving accident. This film tells the true story of Sampedro's 30-year battle for the legal right to end his own life. He develops close relationships with his long-term lawyer Julia (Belén Rueda) and his friend Rosa (Lola Dueñas), who tries to convince him that his life is worth living. Despite his situation, Ramon manages to inspire those around him to live life to the fullest.

Cast & Crew

Javier Bardem
Ramón Sampedro
Belén Rueda
Julia
Lola Dueñas
Rosa
Alberto Jiménez
Germán
Alejandro Amenábar
Director
Alejandro Amenábar
Writer
Alejandro Amenábar
Executive Producer
Fernando Bovaira
Executive Producer
Emiliano Otegui
Line Producer
Alejandro Amenábar
Original Music
Benjamín Fernández
Production Design
Luis San Narciso
Casting
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News & Interviews for The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) (The Sea Within)

Critic Reviews for The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) (The Sea Within)

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (114) | Rotten (21)

Audience Reviews for The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) (The Sea Within)

  • Nov 14, 2011
    For some reason, a cinematic trend exists where there are multiple films based on true stories about people confined to beds or other limiting situations, and their inspiring stories of overcoming their predicaments. There's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly which looked at locked-in syndrome, and the dude learning to communicate solely by blinking; with The Sessions, a bed-ridden poet crippled by polio fights to lose his virginity, and, then there is this film, which looks at the nearly thirty year struggle of Ramon Sampedro to fight for his right to die with dignity after being paralyzed thanks to a diving accident. For all I know, there could be more of these films. And of these three, this one is probably my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, this is a good movie, and I really enjoyed it, but I found it to be somewhat underwhelming, and a bit hard to get invested in, or at least compared to the other two I mentioned. I did like though, that even though the film tackles a controversial subject (euthanasia), Ramon is selfish about it in that he's fighting only for HIS personal right to die with dignity instead of becoming the champion for a cause. Well, I mean, his efforts could be looked at as the basis for a larger campaign, but it's basically just a personal crusade. The argument for both sides of the issue is addressed, and even some of Ramon's family and close associates don't necessarily agree with him, yet they still look out for him and help care for him, and that's really something. There are some moments that are truly visually striking, but, unlike The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, this one is less focused on innovative ways to portray the situation, and is primarily a showcase for acting. And this is where the film is the strongest. Javier Bardem gives easily one of his best performances as Ramon. He spends most of the time in old man makeup and in a bed, but that's no easy task as he's not really able to move on his own besides his head and face a little bit. It's definitely a strong and inspiring performance, but the supporting cast are also quite strong, though this is clearly Bardem's film. Given the subject matter, you'd think this would be a pretty heavy and serious film, and yeah, for the most part it is. However, it's not completely depressing, and there's a fair amount of humor, which surprised me. Of course, someone in Ramon's situation probably needs to develop some sort of sense of humor to cope, so I shouldn't be that surprised. But still, it was unexpected just how wickedly (and morbidly) funny this guy is. The film is slightly preachy, but overall let's the viewer decide for themselves what is supposedly right or wrong. Granted, the film does ultimately take a side, but that's not really the point. This is primarily a personal journey, and a reflection of trying to make the most of life despite certain circumstances, even if that means spending that time trying to die because that's what personally seems like the best course of action. Recommended.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • May 23, 2011
    A very interesting topic is not served well in this overwrought dull drama. I love films that question morality and humanity. However, I don't want a bunch of people arriving and just discussion their feelings/emotions. If that's the case, a documentary would have been much more fitting. Bardem's performance is a thing of beauty, and the main recipient of the the 2 and a half stars I give it. Obviously, due to his condition, he isn't going to get out and about. In saying that, the most memorable moments are those out of the bedroom. The accident, the imaginary flying, the courtroom scenes etc. In one way it emphasized his desire to die, and how his life was kept in this one room, but it didn't make an interesting film.
    Luke B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 2011
    A sad but funny story of a man who wants to die. You understand Ramon and want him to be happy. It's uncomfortable to watch him sometimes as he can't do anything for himself which is down to the brilliant performance from Bardem. At times it was difficult to follow as the Spanish speak so fast but it was enjoyable to watch. Although the ending is sad, you feel a weird sort of happiness knowing that Ramon got what he wanted. It really shows how laws need to be changed to help those who are of sane mind who want to die.
    Sophie B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2011
    Mar Adentro is a beautifully shot and scored drama; its intensity matched with simple European charm. Now that I mention drama, Ramón Sampedro's existence after an unfortunate diving accident is as hard a life as it gets, but the film's treatment of his condition is at times overly melodramatic. As quadriplegic Sampedro, Javier Bardem gives a towering performance and is supported by an outstanding female cast (Lola Dueñas, Belén Rueda, Mabel Rivera and Clara Segura). Ultimately, what could've been a poignant observation on life and death is bogged down by the unconvincingness of it all, the underdevelopment of every character (except Ramón) and the marathonic length.
    Fernando Rafael Q Super Reviewer

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