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Sea Inside, The


Rating: PG-13

Distributor: New Line Home Entertainment

Release Date: May 17, 2005
Review posted: June 13, 2005


Reviewed by Jon Bjorling




Based on the true story of Ramon Sampedro who fought for the right to die with dignity via euthanasia.




The Sea Inside is a very emotionally complex film. It deals with serious and controversial subject matter in a very blunt manner, which is both refreshing and heartbreaking at the same time. 


Ramon Sampedro is a man who has been paralyzed for over 26 years and wishes to die. However, in Spain it is illegal to practice euthanasia, so he has hired a law team to help convince the courts to grant his request to die.  His family, however, have mixed feelings about his decision.  The love him dearly and do not see him as a burden, even though he thinks of himself as such.  Things become further complicated when two women fall in love with him, a single mother trying to talk him out of killing himself and a lawyer who is willing to help him.


Director Alejandro Amenabar delicately weaves a portrait of a man who cannot do any of the simplest things that we all take for granted. He gives the audience all the necessary elements of human tragedy but never allows these elements to ever overwhelm the film. The film contains moments of levity, but these moments flow naturally from the story and are never exploited.  Everything in the film is shown in a natural way. Javier Bardemís portrayal of Sampedro is real. We never see an actor lying in bed, we see a man who has been trapped in the same location for 26 years.  Even the portrayal of his family feels natural. They love Ramon dearly but are also are frustrated with his wishes.  They are never over the top dramatically.  Nothing in the film feels false.


This is not a film that tells us that we must pity Sampedro.  We are given information about his life, before and after the accident and left to make up our own minds in regards to Sampedroís decision.  Whether or not you agree with his reasons for euthanasia, Ramon Sampedroís life is worth taking a look at, and seeing things from his point of view.




The transfer is standard. The colors never seem muted, nor do they seem particularly enhanced. The transfer looks nice, and thatís all.




The film is presented in Spanish 5.1 Surround and in Spanish Stereo Surround.  Both mixes are good, but nothing remarkable.




Deleted Scenes: Three scenes that are interesting to watch, but add only a little bit to the overall film. Two of the scenes deal with Juliaís relationship with her husband and the reason why we see her at the end of the film.


Commentary by Alejandro Amenabar: The directorís commentary is a very insightful look into the making of the film and his reasons as to why he chose this particular subject.


A Trip to The Sea Inside: An excellent making of feature. It gives the viewer a diary like look into every aspect of the film making process, from the script through post-production.


Galleries: Storyboards, On Set photos, etc.




The Sea Inside is destined to be a cinema classic.  Itís well crafted and very poetic without ever being overly indulgent.  The subject matter may turn off some viewers, but it does give those who stick through it something to discuss about euthanasia.




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