The mystery around why the movie is named Isaac, who only appears in flashbacks, is eventually revealed and becomes a powerful symbol of the pursuit of happiness. The homoerotic tension is well maintained throughout, starting as a subtle background hum with flashback flashes before erupting. It is an already juicy story set-up that gets juicier to the point of soaking wet.
“The success of a drama fall on the shoulders of its actors…more than up to the task.”
The success of a drama falls on the shoulders of its actors, and Isaac‘s performers are more than up to the task. Ribera’s turn at Marta is masterful, with an arsenal of expression that makes this woman’s unhappiness multi-dimensional. It is through Ribera’s acting that the atmosphere of the freezing bourgeois world she is trapped in is solidified. Ocio’s performance as Nacho nails the character’s emotionally frozen state, making him genuinely unlikable until he starts thawing out, which gets complicated. Sanchez does the opposite, as his Denis is warm and welcome until the money starts coming in, which gets complicated. The arcs each of the male leads follow are almost reverse reflections of the other. Good thing Bleda is there to help anchor an objective perspective similar to the audiences of the whole affair. Bleda comes off as real with her concerns about how she is caught in the middle of all these other desires echoing through the picture.
Hernandez and Matamoros pull off several impressive feats with Isaac, both on and below the surface. It should also ring true with today’s 30-somethings, who I suspect is also looking backward for a way forward like the characters in the movie. Pot smoke and indie music did the trick years ago, but finding joy and meaning now? That’s more complicated.
"…an already juicy story set-up that gets juicier to the point of soaking wet."