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Reviews & Ratings for
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! More at IMDbPro »Átame! (original title)

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52 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

A gripping movie, and often misunderstood

Author: bargross from Germany
29 November 2001

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 that 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.

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36 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

people don't get the irony

Author: Peter Mathews (Vernaye) from United States
9 May 2004

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...

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33 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

What not to like about this movie?

Author: aymanrizk from Ontario, Canada
7 September 2004

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.

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24 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

A Bizarre Love Story `À La Almodòvar'

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
28 August 2003

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.

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Ricky has to find a way to reach the love of his life even if he has to tie her down to do it.

Author: PS Moviemaven (psmoviemaven) from North Coast USA
31 January 2002

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!

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22 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Both heads functioning at full capacity

Author: Quicksand from United States
13 March 2000

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.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Lively, colorful, and twistedly funny.

Author: William ( from Lancaster, Pennsylvania
12 March 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is a film to see with an open mind. I found nothing offensive or sexist about this film, which deals with two unusual and sexually-liberated people of extremes. Ricky (Antonio Banderas) is a mental patient who had just been released from the sanitarium. Marina is an ex-porn star now doing a low-budget, horror movie. Marina is also a drug user. Ricky is obsessed with Marina, & we later learn they were once sexual together. Ricky proceeds with his obsession and plans of romance and the future, and kidnaps Marina. The kidnapping was not meant to be violent, but events turn out to be somewhat violent. Ricky tells Marina she will fall in love with him, and they will get married and have a family. Marina resists. Ricky feels such a need for Marina, so much that he must tie her up and keep her quiet when he is sleeping, or out of the apartment. He believes she will eventually fall in love with him, but Marina's actions are discouraging. He tries to get her to like him when they are not in uncomfortable situations, and he tries to be a good provider. He even becomes angry over Marina's drug abuse. Marina seems to adjust to her kidnapping, & becomes more social with Ricky. He goes to lengths to provide Marina with the things she needs, and ends up getting beaten up in the process. SPOILERS: Marina suddenly finds herself feeling emotions for Ricky when he arrives beaten and bruised. She begins to kiss him, & tries to make him feel better. They make love/have sex; lively and verbally. Ricky decides it is time to leave Madrid, Spain, and go elsewhere. Marina agrees. He steals a car, but in the meantime Marina's colorful sister, Lola (Loles Leon) discovers Marina. They take to escape as Ricky comes back to find he is now alone. Lola finds Marina's story disturbing, and Marina's love for Ricky to be "kinky." However, Lola will help Marina find Ricky if Marina feels that strongly for him. Ricky & Marina are reunited with Lola's help, and in the end Ricky and Lola discuss his new status as a family member within Marina and Lola's family. This is not a film about violence or sex as a lot of people seem to believe, and the violence that occurs is part of the plot. The sex is easily because of the love between the two main characters, and we know people in love like to make love. It is true the plot of a man kidnapping a woman to get her to fall in love with him is extreme, but remember Ricky is a character of extremes. He is a man obsessed with Marina. He is a man with the idea that he will get her to love him no matter what it takes. Antonio Banderas plays Ricky extemely well. Victoria Abril plays Marina excellently. The rest of the cast is a colorful collection of Spanish actors and actresses. Several have been in other films by Pedro Almodovar. Loles Leon stands out as Marina's sister. This film contains nudity; including frontal nudity, profanity, sexual situations, violence (the violence in the film is nothing of an unusually violent nature) and drug use. It is rated NC-17, but probably not for the sex scene. It more likely received this rating for the bathtub scene in which a wind-up toy swims its way between Marina's legs and is shown penetrating her. Almodovar can create very colorful characters and situations, and the film is full of different emotions. His use of humor is interjected wonderfully, and is a good break for the film's more serious scenes. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is very good in every way (acting, writing, music, direction, technical, etc.), and everyone I have shown this film to has enjoyed it.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

One of Almodovar's Best

Author: sundog1 from New Mexico
13 December 2003

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.

Highly recommended.

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A very sexy film- a MANS chick flick. This is a bit twisted and fun.

Author: dilbertsuperman from Baghdad
18 June 2006

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!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sexy subtitled black comedy.

Author: Baldach from Arizona
22 July 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have enjoyed this movie since college. This Spainsh film is subtitled so it may take time to understand the dialogue. The plot is defintely unusual, a former mental patient kidnaps and bonds a B-movie actress. Yet somehow the plot shows that romance can emerge in the most unusal circumstances.

Spoiler... Other reviewers have mentioned that there was a history (pre-plot) between the former mental patient and the actress not mentioned in the movie. Appartently the former mental patient (kidnapper) had a one night stand with the B-movie actress when she was on illegal drugs. And during the time mental patient was incaretated all he could do was become obessed with the actress.

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