In spite of the emotionally potent theme of Catalan helmer Rosa Verges’ Spanish Civil War romancer, “Iris” never comes close to provoking either a tear or, intentionally at least, a smile. Verges has done good work in the past, but here, seemingly wishing to say it all about love, loss, war and womanhood, she ends up saying very little, and nothing that is new. Prospects are strictly limited, with occasional femme fest sidebars the only places where “Iris” could possibly bloom.
After her mother is killed, emotionally confused photographer Iris (Silke) marries doctor Oscar (Gines Garcia Millan). However, she is already married. Her husband unexpectedly reappears and rapes her, with Iris becoming pregnant and uncertain about who the father is. Oscar leaves to fight in the war, and Iris struggles in appalling conditions to survive, along with her buddy, Magdalena (Ana Torrent). The shipwrecking of pic’s noble intentions starts with Silke’s uncertain central perf and the pancake-flat character of Iris, but pic is not helped by wannabe meaningful dialogue, woeful pacing, and a script which is ambitious way beyond its grasp. Period detail is fine.