Review of “80 Days” (“80 Egunean”)

 
 

The two women maintain a platonic friendship for a short time, but even as friends their chemistry is undeniable. After one night at the hospital, full of fun camaraderie, Maite invites Axun over to her house. Axun calls her husband and lies to him, saying she is staying the night at the hospital. He is now suspecting something is up, and calls the hospital, where they say no one is in the room. He later goes up to the hospital to check it out for himself, only to find the nurse was telling the truth.

While at Maite’s, Axun admires photos of her and an ex-lover, who Maite says grew sick of being in the closet. “It was a long time ago,” she says, sitting down next to Axun. Sitting so closely brings them to the inevitable: Maite takes her lips to Axun’s neck, and they begin to get intimate. It’s a short scene that you knew had to come, and the pay off is a gentle touching scene in which Axun looks truly happy.

Of course, you know the happy doesn’t last for long. They have a nice morning together, but Axun returns home to her husband feeling upset. He tells Axun she cannot go to the hospital again and that he needs her to be home to cook for him. Axun is furious and says they don’t spend any time together, that she is only there to serve him.

Axun feels guilty, and she tells Maite they can’t see each other anymore. Maite says it’ll be easier now, because her brother has finally awakened from his coma and he is moving to another facility. They share a moment of looking at one another sadly, both silently acknowledging the battle is lost.

But since we’re not yet to day 80, we know it’s not. Maite is retiring as a music teacher, and her students are performing a recital in tribute to her. Axun decides she must go, but the only way to get past her husband is to say she’s going to the hospital. He says he will accompany her, and she has no choice but to actually go and wait him out. He finally leaves, but only to wait in the car and find out where she’s really going. He follows her cab to the recital, where he waits in the parking lot.

The recital is almost over by the time Axun arrives, and she sees Maite’s friend, Julian, standing outside the doors with flowers, obviously for Maite. Axun tells Julian she must go, but asks him to give Maite the gift she brought her. She runs outside, but Juilan follows and they speak emotively, leading her husband to see a passionate discussion from his spot in the car. As Julian is telling Axun to stay, her husband walks up to punch Julian in the jaw. The recital is letting out and everyone is exiting, which is lucky for Julian, as two men are able to hold Axun’s husband back. Maite is inside the doors, taking it all in.

On the car ride home, Axun’s husband calls her a whore, despite her telling him he doesn’t know what’s going on. She gets out of the car suddenly, and he follows her telling her it’s OK — he forgives her. Axun seems to have a moment of clarity, knowing that if her husband can forgive what he thinks is her being intimate with another man, he obviously doesn’t love her, just what she can do for him. But he tells her he knows he doesn’t have much time left, using guilt to convince her to stay.

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