Audrey Debord" />
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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Bella’ offers beautiful look at life, love

Steam rising from the streets, singers on subway trains and bright yellow Metrocards declare that it’s New York City. Bella is a beautifully crafted film capturing the sights and sounds of New York while telling the story of Nina Tammy Blanchard, a young unmarried waitress who discovers that she’s pregnant and loses her job at a Mexican restaurant because of tardiness from her morning sickness.

The theme of the movie is undoubtedly pro-life. It brazenly delves into the proposal that life is precious and alludes to it throughout. There is a clip of a little girl playing with a plastic butterfly; flowers are mentioned a number of times; a tree is planted. A blind homeless man (Herb Lovelle) asks Nina to describe the day to him, and she tells of the purple and yellow flowers planted nearby and the sidewalks filled with busy people.

These things serve as a reminder to Nina that although she is enduring a crisis, life is still beautiful. She’√Ñ√¥s not alone because when Manny (Manny Perez), the restaurant manager, fired her, his brother Jose Eduardo Ver?∞stegui, the chef, runs after her. He feels connected to her through a devastating experience he had years ago, and he believes that he can help her cope with her situation without sacrificing her own life or the life of her baby.

The importance of a loving family is emphasized, and it’√Ñ√¥s clear that when something bothers one family member, it affects them all. When Jose brought Nina home to his family’√Ñ√¥s house for dinner, and he told them of the situation, they were very kind to her. They reached out to her, and Jose’√Ñ√¥s father (Jaime Tirelli), told Nina that this is her home as he referred to his house and family.

The family was there for Jose after a tragic moment in his life when the life of a young child was taken right before his eyes. She was the girl with the butterfly that he sees in his occasional flashbacks, and a painful expression appears on his countenance despite the years past since this horrific event. It’√Ñ√¥s no wonder that he pursues Nina hoping to warn her of this pain so that she can be spared. One moment can impact a lifetime.

Director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde did a phenomenal job of incorporating a positive message into such an artistic film. Shots of New York City from the viewpoint of blue-collar workers, the suburban neighborhood and the beach scene at the end portray real life, while giving the film a serene feel and peaceful tone. All of these elements exemplify the power of love, life and family found within Bella.

Even simple scenes convey a strong message of life and hope. Jose’√Ñ√¥s father is landscaping when Jose and Nina get to the house, and they all plant a tree together. Jose’√Ñ√¥s father compliments Nina on her brightly colored flowered dress, her uniform from the Mexican restaurant, telling her that she looks like a real Mexican. He also says that all women love flowers.

Though a few parts of the film are light-hearted, others, especially those toward the middle and end, beckon emotion. When Jose tells Nina about his tragic experience, detailed flashbacks are shown revealing the mistake of a lifetime and the deep hurt it caused several people. The end of the film shows the resolution of Nina’√Ñ√¥s dilemma with gently rolling waves crashing ashore on white sands.

The gentleness and truthfulness of Bella will touch your heart.

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