sea insideBefore he became known for his roles in “No Country for Old Men” and “Vicki Christina Barcelona”, Javier Bardem proved that he was a more than capable actor with “The Sea Inside” (Mar Adentro). It also didn’t hurt that the the story was well written, and that Bardem had a great cast backing him up. The story of one man’s fight for his right to to die made for one of the most emotionally charged movies of 2004, and is still one that is well respected, but most underrated movies of the last five years.

Ramon Sampedro’s life took a turn for the worst after a diving accident left him a quadriplegic. Bound to his bed for the rest of his life, he spends his last 28 years of life fighting for his right to die with dignity. Throughout the course of the film, the viewer is taken through his struggle with his family, the support of his lawyer Julia, and a woman named Rosa who tries to talk him out of ending his life. A love triangle develops between Sampedro, Julia, and Rosa, but it is very subtle and does not take away from the fact that the main focus is Sampedro’s desire to have euthenasia legalized.

Bardem steals the show here, and it serves as a perfect testament to his talent as an actor. Expertly executed, with great acting and top-notch cinematography, “The Sea Inside” is a powerful character study, and easily one of the best movies to tackle the subject of Euthanasia.