Or you can live long and go into an old people’s home. Not dying early might seem like a good thing, but it’s not necessarily much fun having to go into a home. Arrugas is a Spanish animated film set in a care home, and it is both heart breaking and at times very funny. But the heart breaking wins, and I was in tears by the end.
Emilio is getting increasingly confused and his adult son puts him into a home. At first Emilio seems quite ‘with it’ but gradually it becomes clear that he has Alzheimers. His room mate Miguel is a cheerful sort and he tries to keep him going.
He makes friends with a number of the ‘inmates’ and each of them has a problem of some kind. There is the woman who collects all the un-eaten food, to give to her ungrateful grandson when he visits. The childhood sweethearts who are still together after all these years. And then there is Miguel who appears to be a bit of a crook.
The selling point of the home is the swimming pool, except the old people don’t get to use it. The weekly gym is popular only because it gives the men an opportunity to ogle the teacher’s breasts.
Bleak though this film is, there is also hope. They have all lost so much (except maybe Miguel, who never had anyone to begin with), but when they look more closely, they find someone new, be it a puppy or a companion for travelling on the Orient Express (don’t ask).
And when you are elderly you can’t even kill yourself with your stash of stolen pills if they spill out all over the floor.
But there is hope. Not much, but some.
Beautiful film. Sad, but beautiful.