Independent films are often gritty and realistic. They tell stories that are relatable to many people.Unmade Beds is no exception. Directed by Argentinian director Alexis Dos Santos, this romantic drama tells the story of two random young people and their quest for love and truth. Originally released in 2009, this film was entered in the Sundance Film Festival and the Montreal Festival of New Cinema where it won the Quebec Film Critic’s Award.
Taking place in London, Unmade Beds follows the lives of two 20-somethings and their journeys of self-discovery, trying to find answers to the questions they have about life. The film opens with Axl (Fernando Tielve), a young man from Spain who serves as the picture’s narrator. He is on a mission to find his father who he has never met and confront him about being his son. He soon finds him working as a real estate agent and pretends to be in the market looking for an apartment. He does this so he can get to know him.
The other character in the film is Vera (Déborah François), a beautiful girl who is coming off a bad relationship. She works in a bookstore and meets a gentleman at a bar and eventually falls in love. She and Axl both live in a communal apartment. They are lost souls in 21stcentury London and poster children of the hipster way of life.
The title Unmade Beds refers to the numerous mattresses Axl has slept on in his young life. He has always moved around so he’s never really had the same bed for very long. He is a transient being and his current location is London. There, he meets other wanderers like Vera, hangs out and drinks at a bar. He also spends most of his time watching live music and hooks up with random people both male and female.
Axl and Vera’s adventures are documented well by Alexis Dos Santos whose first feature was the teen drama Glue. He follows up nicely with Unmade Beds, a film that takes the viewer on a fun, sexy and downright awesome ride. The editing in the film is pretty neat. There are quick cuts and shaky camera work that creates a sense of realism, almost like a bold documentary of the London party scene.
The acting in Unmade Beds is also pretty good. Fernando Tielve plays Axl tenderly creating a character that is sensitive and likable. All he wants to do is reunite with his estranged father and along the way ends up in odd situations. We see the world through Axl’s eyes and we hear what he hears. It’s sad and amusing, scary and exciting. In other scenes, we also see the world through Vera’s eyes. Played with subtle sensuality by Déborah François, Vera is a loner who ends up with different men only to question love and find out who she really is.
Another wonderful aspect of Unmade Beds is the indie-rock infused soundtrack. The film is laced with cool songs such as “We Are Not the Same” and “Hot Monkey, Hot Ass!” Some of these gems are actually pretty good to dance to providing slick beats and quirky lyrics. The scenes that feature these songs are shot in an almost music video type of fashion and add to the craziness of Axl and Vera’s stories.
Unmade Beds is an indie film through and through. There is no doubt about that. The camera work is wobbly, the music is hip, the acting is genuine and the subject matter is relatable to pretty much anyone especially young people. Unmade Beds is a decent movie with many fine qualities. The soundtrack and the acting are probably the film’s best graces. If you want to spend an hour and a half well, watching this movie is probably a good idea.
DVD Bonus Features
The bonus features for Unmade Beds are rather lame. There are a few trailers and that’s it.