Content Note: ableism/saneism, partner abuse
Mía (Bruna Cusí) and Moi (Ricardo Gómez) just lost their mother and meet in the remote family home to say their good-bye. Moi brings his boyfriend Biel (Eneko Sagardoy). It quickly becomes obvious that Moi is struggling beyond grief, he seems barely able to function without Biel’s help. But the three make things work, better and better step by step. But then Mía’s ex-boyfriend Mikel (Joe Manjón) shows up uninvited and throws things into disarray again.
Mía and Moi is an engaging film with really excellent performances that got a little derailed with the story for me.
I really liked how Mía and Moi began. The way the film slowly peels away the family history and shows the depth of their relationship. The way Moi’s mental illness is portrayed and how it affects his relationships, especially with Biel, which both felt pretty realistic to me. I even liked how Mikel stepped onto the scene, showing his abusive nature and how little Mía is able to defend herself despite rationally knowing better.
The central cast are really great. All four of them do their characters justice and bring their partly pretty complicated relationships to life. Bruní and Gómez in particular (probably because the story is all about them) are really strong and are very believable as siblings.
But with the final act, both Mía’s helplessness and Moi`s mental illness have to be viewed more critically. As Moi kills Mikel, the film feeds into tropes of the dangerous mentally ill person that are just ableist. And it also reinforces the notion that Mía needs saving instead of her being able to finally distance hersel from Mikel. A little less drama and bloodshed and a bit more empowerment would have served the story well, and could have underscored the strength of the sibling relationship just as much.
Up until that point, I was entirely with the film, though, and enjoyed getting these characters, so overall the film still falls on the positive side for me, despite the questionable ending.
Summarizing: Good, except the ending.