The Skin I Live In

I'll take this as Almodóvar's atonement for Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, the last film he did with Banderas, and which made my political correctness siren start wailing over here. This film isn't entirely clear of testy moral waters. Like Talk To Her, there is a rape by an 'innocent'. Perhaps because of the different circumstances -- Vicente did stop (eventually...) when consent was withdrawn -- plus the fact that the film's stance is more distant, I didn't get worked up about it. Whether this is tantamount to hypocrisy I'll leave to you.

But at least here we have a prisoner (who may have succumbed to stockholm syndrome, or maybe not -- we are left to draw our own conclusions) who breaks free and is reunited with a real loving family (of women, of course). I wonder if Vicente steals Norma in the end?

The focus should be on Robert, however. A magnificent performance by Banderas, who has enough charisma and passion to sell his absolute devotion to his deceased wife and child, while at the same time being the clinical obsessive bad guy. When did the madness emerge? His wife started shagging his id-driven brother and his daughter was pretty old to be playing with toys when we first see her -- maybe Robert was the one that defenestrated both, albeit indirectly. Marilia was of the opinion that she had given birth to demons. Zeca "the tiger" is an animal, no restraint at all, a true rapist. Robert is all about restraint, control, observation, intervention -- I'm not surprised that his wife cuckolded him and his daughter developed social problems. And his undoing by Vera comes exactly when he lets her in. Just as he starts becoming human, punishment is delivered.

A wondrous film. The best Almodóvar mystery I've seen so far.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous29.8.11

    brilliant. been waiting long for this one.