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'100 days with Tata': the viral phenomenon of Miguel Ángel Muñoz without cinema inside

Despite the widespread belief, in beautiful stories there does not have to be a movie inside. Cinema needs progress, doubt, conflict, crossroads, falls, redemptions. Also a proper point of view. A look and a voice. And the closest look (and in principle the most noble) is not always the most appropriate. Sometimes it takes a step back, or to one side: that whoever tells the story is not so infected by what happened, by its characters and by their evolution.

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During one of the editions of the television program MasterChef Celebrity, the actor Miguel Ángel Muñoz, ultimately the winner of the contest, he revealed himself to the viewer as a fabulous boy personally: honest, hard-working, noble, friendly, supportive, close and with an extraordinary family relationship with an old woman he called La Tata, named Luisa Cantero and sister of his great-grandmother, who in several visits to the space conquered the audience. That relationship, which Muñoz himself describes as “love”, later became a viral phenomenon that was echoed by the media during the first months of the pandemic, thanks to a series of live videos starring both of them. And now the actor completes with 100 days with Tata, documentary directed by himself, his tribute to the person who he cared for when he was a child —and his parents, due to work reasons, could not do it—, and from which he never separated.

At one point in his directorial debut, winner of the award for best documentary at Los Forqué, Muñoz confesses: “ Why a movie? Because I am a romantic of my profession. So I surrounded myself with a team of 25 people, as if it were going to be released in theaters. But he did it for me. ” Aside from the obvious contradictions of the statement, in those words may be the essence of why his story seems composed from a wrong look and voice. From yours. Directed by him, with him as a co-star, with the common thread of a life in communion that has him as the axis with his 97-year-old partner, from a series of interviews with himself in which he explains, values, laughs, cries and is moved. All this leads to some, to call them in some way, misalignments: the first twenty minutes that act as an infomercial on their own professional life; a great successes in which there is no room for setbacks or failures; and some statements to the camera in which he even loses at certain moments the naturalness that he always shows in daily life. Something, also, very logical. Who wouldn't seem a bit fake talking about himself all the time?

In the film, together with the exhaustive and commendable care of the young man towards the woman after having suffered a stroke, and continuous jokes, conversations, affection and complicity, we also see Muñoz's psychological therapy sessions, filmed by his own camera. And the mirror cracks: someone looking at himself in praiseworthy work, but who would have needed a step aside. Only in the last stretch, when the actor seems to run into the wall of “love of an image” and “the desire to be in a certain way” with respect to himself, does a certain dilemma come to pass. The rest, however, is a portrait in the form of a selfie that can be beautiful personally although it never transcends the cinematographic, and that also falls a few times in the impudent. The force of nature that Tata is and the wonderful affection of her great-grand nephew deserved a less subjective look.

100 DAYS WITH THE TATA

Direction: Miguel Ángel Muñoz.

Speakers: Miguel Ángel Muñoz, Luisa Cantero.

Genre: documentary. Spain, 2021.

Duration: 82 minutes.

Premiere: December 29

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