The best way to approach A Slice of Life in Barcelona is to start with what it is. It’s an independent film in the purest sense. Maria Galindo had a story to tell, and she did what she needed to do to say to it. The film had almost no budget, and the crew consisted of Galindo and the actors—”skeleton crew” is an understatement.
Compared to other DIY films, the overall quality lies just above average. Most scenes are wide shots with minimal coverage. Also, considering the audio was captured from the mic on the camera, it’s surprisingly decent. With one person doing all the behind-the-scenes and post-production work, A Slice of Life in Barcelona is a good looking film, showing that hard work and passion pay off.
Just like the film’s production quality, the acting is decent too. I’ll go out on a limb and say that none of the actors had any classical training, but I’ve seen a lot worse from actors with training. My only issue is with Ramsey and the tourist character. They’re meant to be over-the-top characters but comes off as cartoonish, which stands out big time next to the more “normal” characters.
“…a good looking film, showing that hard work and passion pay off.”
I mentioned it before, but the story is something you’d see in a soap opera or a gritty Showtime series. The subject matter is adult, dark, and steamy. What it suffers from is imbalance. The film has four stories being told at one time. At times, one story will take center stage for a long time to the point that I forgot about the others. Case in point is with Ramsey’s story. It has significant focus at the beginning, and then it disappears until the end. When juggling multiple stories like this, you have to check in once in a while on all your characters or lose the momentum of those stories. When he finally shows up again, I had to remind myself what happened to him last, and at this point, I’m out of the story for a very long moment.
A Slice of Life in Barcelona just barely crosses the recommendation line. For what it is, a low-budget drama, it’s passable, and watching it is a great way to support emerging artists. There are small gems in this imperfect film.
"…an independent film in the purest sense."