Set against the expansive greenery of rural Galicia, the 2021 film ‘Live Is Life’ is a laid-back summer story about five friends spending their vacation together in 1985. So there’s a lot of talking, cycling, swimming, laughing and some fighting. I’ve never even been to Spain, but some scenes reminded me of the summer vacations we would spend at our grandparent’s village in the 90s, without the luxury of technological distractions.
Directed by Dani de la Torre, ‘Live Is Life’ is largely shot outdoors, against thick forests and lakes that look like post-card pictures. The five teen boys plan go hiking on a mountain known for a magical flower, each has their own reason for seeking it out. For example, one of them hopes to fix his grades, while another hopes the flower could help wake his father from a coma. The boys are often bullied or chased by mean older college boys riding motorcycles, which seemed a little far-fetched, but added a touch of excitement to the otherwise leisurely paced story.
The friendships between the boys is sweet, they behave like kids their age, and chat about things that range from completely silly to rather profound. All the young actors do a great job slipping into their roles, while the adults have very brief cameos, mostly only to mind the boys. Dani de la Torre and team strike a fine balance between the serious and silly, it’s what makes a lot of moments from the film very relatable. And anybody who has ever spent a school summer vacation in the countryside will get reminiscent about being a kid.
It’s a 7/10 from me. You can stream it on Netflix.
Subscribe to our podcast on YouTube by the same name – AbstractAF
Listen TO – Five Graphic Novel Adaptations Worth Checking Out