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After all I heard and read about this movie, I think this one of the most
commonly misunderstood movies ever. It is not a comedy (although sometimes
bizarre). It is NOT a glorification of violence. It is not about S/M or
Bondage (which occurs between consenting parties). It's message is NOT
if you tie up and beat a woman, she will love you in return.
This is a movie about two people who are unable to master life on their own. This has led Ricky to the mental ward and Marina to being a drug-addicted porn star, who just happens to have a streak of luck because a movie director is completely obsessed with her. In the end, the two have found each other and it looks as if together, they can find the happiness and home they always were looking for. Beautiful...
Yes, Ricky's method of convincing Marina to love him is horrible and unacceptable. His attitude toward women and life in general is seriously twisted, and he just cannot think of any other way to get what he needs to fulfill his desire of living what he considers an ordinary life. Why does Marina fall for it? Probably because he's the first person who ever seemed to care about her. He fights to get her, he fights to help her. Even if his interest in her is ruthless and possessive, it is a genuine, deep interest and that is what she has been missing all her life.
I found Atame to be a fascinating and remarkable movie. Watch it open-minded and try to look beneath the pure surface of the plot, and you will be moved and captivated by its beauty.
I just loved every aspect of this movie... The acting by both Victoria
Abril and Antonio Banderas is superb. Even the sister delivers a very
convincing performance. The director, Pedro Almodóvar, is the same one
who brought us masterpieces like "Talk to her" and "All about my
mother". Although you wouldn't figure it out from the plot lines of the
three movies, "Tie me up, Tie me down" is much lighter and less
involved than the other two.
The pace (as with all Almodóvar's movies) is just the right one, not too fast or slow. I did not like the character of the director in the movie and did not like his acting that much... Probably the only weak couple of scenes are those depicting his infatuation with Marina.
The ending may seem predictable and lame, but I liked it . It is one of those feel good endings.
Although there is a hot sexy scene in this movie, I question the NC-17 US rating for that scene. I saw so many R-rated movies that were much more explicit... My point is; if you get this movie thinking it was one of those European soft porn flicks, you will be disappointed.
My vote: 9/10.
I'm amazed that people don't get the irony underlying this film. If you've seen other, earlier Almodovar films, you'll know that he explores sexual situations that come emanate from all sorts of crazy situations (think of Law of Desire (1987), for example, in which Banderas plays a man exploring his homosexuality). But what makes this film so great is that, unlike Almodovar's other films, it attempts to explore the nature of the "conventional," heterosexual matrix which, through Almodovar's eyes, becomes completely nonsensical. Indeed, the relationship between Marina and Ricky is meant, ultimately, to be a parody of how such relationships work, as if heterosexuality (and its consequence, marriage) are almost inevitably equivalent in character to the infamous Stockholm syndrome. The final twist of the film, mistakenly hated for its apparently patriarchal overtones, is in fact a humorous subversion of conventional sexual politics. `You're crazy! Love a man who kidnaps you and ties you up? Is that normal?' exclaims Marina's sister. Well, actually, yes, according to Almodovar, it's completely normal. When viewed with irony (most viewers seem to have a bad case of literal disease when it comes to this film), this movie is a devastating critique of modern heterosexuality. Note that the trio sing the Spanish version of "I will survive" at the very end, when everything has supposedly worked out, in Candide fashion, for the best...
Marina Osorio (Victoria Abril) is a soft-porno star kidnapped in her own apartment by Ricky (Antonio Banderas), a guy who has just left a mental institution. He wants to get married with her. The storyline in this weird love story recalls `The Collector', i.e., a man kidnaps a woman because he is in love with her. But on the contrary of the William Wyler's drama in a cold and isolate farm in an English countryside, the situations in Almodóvar's colorful movie in the center of Madrid are very erotic and funny. For example, the scene when Marina is having a bath in her bathtub is hilarious. This cult movie is certainly not one of the best in Almodóvar´s filmography, but it is mandatory for those who are his fan. My vote is seven.
As far as I am concerned this is Almodóvar's most erotic comedic film ever made. I don't know how much has to do with the chemistry between Victoria Abril and Antonio Bandaras or if they are just excellent actors. !Atame! or "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down" in English has all of Almodovars' usual suspects and the story is told with the proper amount of impish humor and believable drama. Antonio Banadaras is 'comeble' as Ricky the orphaned, juvenal delinquent now grown and with a sexual talent to be admired. And Victoria Abril plays well the unknowing stalked film actress, who tries to use her wits to outsmart Ricky until he slowly wins her over. This is played for comedic satire and it works. One who doesn't appreciate this film obviously misses the subtleness of seduction. Oh yes, you must watch the subtitled version to pick up the intonations of the original voices and language. !Ay que calor!
Our hero is a mentally ill man who can't stop thinking about a girl who
rocked his world back in the past. He is released from the institution
and goes ahead with the paint by numbers obsession masquerading as love
routine. This is the kind of love where you beat the living $hit out of
your girlfriend because you love her so much and then complain to her
afterward.. look what you made me do- it's all your fault you whore
because I love you so much.
While this is a completely sick and abusive way to run a relationship, apparently some women like domination and the intense attention they get from a psychopath. This explains a lot of seemingly unlikely pairings in the world- deep down inside, a real girl likes to be submitted by the alpha male.
If you understand this, you can understand this movie and how it plays out- otherwise you will be screaming at the movie yeah right - could never happen- but the FUNNY thing about this movie is it could and does happen. Bad girls need lots of attention.
The script is rich with turns and twists which bounces off the fact that our leading lady, a former porn star and heroin addict trying to kick has just finished up a regular movie and they want to call her back for post-prod.-Problem is.. she's tied up at the moment with her new boyfriend...
This is a romantic comedy with good old Spanish humor which revolves around fiery romance and doing the dumbest thing possible in a situation, --it mirrors what the testosterone told you to do.
I was reminded of Jamon Jamon with the lead character-who is of course.. Antonio Banderas. Before seeing the film-I thought Banderas was a negative for the film, but he actually does this character quite well!
Atame! is my favorite Almodovar film. A lot of people don't think it is
incredibly great, but I have to disagree.
Although Talk to Her is probably his most accomplished & strongest film to date, Atame has a light comedic air without the tragic overtones of his latest films. The movie provides some insight into the film-making process a la Fellini. It also deals with psychological imprisonment, release, and how some forms of entrapment are preferable to others.
Both leads are great, and it's easy to see how Banderas' charisma led him to be such a well known actor in later years.
I have to wonder why anyone who would give this movie a low rating felt the
need to see it in the first place. Did you think you were gonna get a 90
minute subtitled skin flick? Tsk, tsk.
The characters are incredibly well-defined and the writing is ingenious. The scene in the apartment when Banderas first breaks in and confronts Abril is writing at perfection-- this man has forced his way in, but you go from liking him, to hating him, to liking him again in just this short little scene. The history between these characters is truly warped, and that makes this a really enjoyable film to watch, and I'm not just saying that because of the nudity.
Almodovar may have his obsessions, but that doesn't mean the rest of the movie isn't worth watching. It is, and will make you think, which I know a lot of American film-watchers don't like to do.
I had never seen an Almodovar film before, but I am so glad I did. Makes me want to find out just what else has been out there.
Artsy little film, with both heads functioning at full capacity. 9/10.
Antonio Banderas was truly in his form and height of career when he was cast in Almovodar's Spanish movies. Banderas portrayed innocence and simplicity of character in these early movies that Hollywood always seems to make large and gloss over any sort of character development. There is something that Hollywood seems to drain away and leave behind in the character of people, yet Banderas/Almovodar capture so perfectly the average man/woman and portray them in interesting ways. Atame (Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down) is a delicious little movie about a crook who falls in love with an actress. To get her attention, he kidnaps her and the fun begins. Almovodar's movies are always filled with quirky characters, funny dialogue and plot twists. To see Antonio Banderas at his finest playing a simple man who falls in love but has some issues..Atame is a cute, touching movie to rent.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Atame!" (Or Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! in English), is the last
collaboration between Pedro Almodovar and Antonio Banderas, and they
give us something to remember.
Banderas plays Ricky, an orphan that has spent a great deal of his life in a mental institution. He is released back into society and already has plans for his future.
During one of his escape attempts, he met Marina (Victoria Abril)in a bar and had a one night stand. Even after all this time, he still wants to get back with her. Marina, who is a former porn star and recovering addict, is in the middle of doing a horror film directed by Maximo (Francisco Rabal). Her sister Lola (Loles Leon) works behind the scenes. Ricky sneaks onto the set in an attempt to speak to her. However, it seems that Marina doesn't know who he is. Determined to get her to remember him, Ricky holds her hostage in her apartment. Not too happy with this development (especially when he hits her), she refuses to give in to his wishes, so Ricky keeps her tied up in order for her to be his.
The film becomes a battle of wills: Ricky wants to marry Marina and have kids with her, but Marina doesn't want anything to do with her kidnapper. Will love, with all of its twists and turns, conquer all?
The film was one of the catalysts for the NC 17 rating (Its sex scene was deemed an X rating), and you can sort of understand why. It is VERY steamy.
Sex scene aside, you are so caught up in this story that you sort of forget how creepy the situation is: after all, he is pretty much a stalker that kidnaps a woman to force her to fall for him.
I won't give away the ending, because you can pretty much guess how it will turn out anyway. An interesting entry in Almodovar's filmography.
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