Search This Blog

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Film: Broken Embraces – directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Star rating - 8/10

Pedro Almodóvar’s latest offering, again starring his favourite leading lady – Penelope Cruz, is a homage to film making itself. It splits the story between present day Madrid, with the blind former film director Mateo Blanco (played by Lluís Homar), who has tragically lost his sight and will now only answer to the name of his former pseudonym Harry Caine; and flashbacks to 1994 and the making of his last film, which starred Lena (beautifully and sensuously played by Cruz), as the mistress of a ruthless but rich businessman who will do anything to keep her under his control.

At times an exciting action movie, at other times quite dark and tragic, and again in places very, very funny, this is another gem of a film from Almodóvar. The violence and suffocation of Cruz’s relationship with her older lover in the flashback scenes, is lightened by some lovely humour in the present day scenes, such as when Diego, the son of Mateo/Harry’s best friend and agent Judit, is exploring the possible storyline for a vampire romance film.

He alludes to many other films in the piece, including one of his best movies to date – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown from 1988– via the use of that old favourite, the spiked gazpacho trick. But this film is not just for serious film buffs. It is a complex and involved plot but not too difficult to follow. Cruz is at her brilliant and stunning best when working with Almodóvar. The colour is terrific and soundtrack great.

Another great, if slightly indulgent film from Almodóvar – but when self indulgence is this good to watch – who cares?

No comments:

Post a Comment