Searching for literary inspiration, an aspiring novelist in Seville insinuates himself into the lives of his apartment-dwelling neighbours and attempts to instigate drama, in this hilarious, thought-provoking, and self-aware meditation on art and authorial intent.
Manuel Martín Cuenca
Álvaro (Javier Gutiérrez) dreams of being a writer, a true artist, not a hack like his bestselling-author wife, Amanda (María León). When he catches her cheating on him right outside their home, Álvaro decides to leave Amanda and quit his boring job as a notary clerk so he can dedicate his life to the written word.
But the blank page staring at him from the desk of his new Seville apartment is daunting. How does one reach the sublimity of high literature while suffering from writer's block? Enlisting the help of his writing professor (Antonio de la Torre) and the love of his building's gossipy doorwoman (Adelfa Calvo), Álvaro begins to insinuate himself into the lives of his neighbours: the Mexican immigrant family next door and the chess-playing, Franco-loving septuagenarian upstairs. As he pulls strings and instigates drama in the lives of those around him, Álvaro becomes the butt of his own joke.
The latest feature from Manuel Martín Cuenca, whose diverse body of work has continually explored the dark side of human motivation, The Motive is a brilliantly scripted, hilarious, thought-provoking, and self-aware exposé on art and authorial intent. Drawing from Javier Cercas' novel The Tenant and the Motive, Martín Cuenca ruminates on the abstract notion of talent and the raw determination that drives so many creators — sometimes to their own downfall.