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An unbalanced but alluring former mental patient (Antonio Banderas)
takes a porn star (Victoria Abril) prisoner in the hopes of convincing
her to marry him.
How can anyone deny the beautiful, almost dreamlike use of color in this film? Trying to find anything comparable is a challenge. The musicals of Jacques Demy? No, not even those.
"Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" comes from a strong pedigree, as it follows in the myth of Beauty and the Beast and the notion that the savagery of the Beast is, in the presence of Beauty, tamed by gentler feelings. This has been a recurrent theme in films like "King Kong", "Frankenstein" and "Tarzan the Ape Man". Some have even drawn parallels to "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" in that kidnapping can lead to romance.
The soundtrack was composed by Ennio Morricone in the style of a thriller and is reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann's score for Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". This music changes the whole tone. Some consider the film a "dark romantic comedy" and others even say there is a hint of horror in there. Much of the mood relies on the music -- with a lighter tone, this could just be an "offbeat" romantic comedy and not a "dark" one -- there is very little about the film that is dark besides the music.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pedro Almodóvar creates an interesting film to add to the romantic comedy category. One is led to believe that this film is not a comedy until various plot devices reveal just how far Ricky (Antonio Banderas) is willing to go to capture the heart of Marina (Victoria Abril). Different perhaps from other films from Almodóvar, is the female centered plot. This time it is shared between both male and female. Ricky is released from a mental institute with various handyman skills that prove useful in his pursuit of Marina. Marina is a former porn star and drug addict. These two have met once before the story's events. After a short trip to the set in which Marina works, Ricky witnesses what should have been the end of the film being shot. It can then be inferred that Ricky is not the only one with an obsession with Marina, but also the director of the film being shot in the movie. Quickly after, Ricky quickly sets out to work on getting Marina to love him by giving her the chance to understand him. He makes his way into her apartment and ties her up. While Marina is relatively helpless against Ricky, being physically tied up, she has also tied Ricky up emotionally as he can think of nothing else but her. Perhaps not heartwarming in the soft sense, but his dedication and determination is something to be noted.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Atame is beautifully filmed, funny, and compelling. In true Almodovar style it is controversial, as the story implies a woman can be forced to love a man, and because the audience begins to identify with and root for the captor and abuser, rather than the victim. The acting is great and Antonio Banderas plays the role surprisingly well. The sexual tension between Abril and Banderas is played wonderfully. Despite the film's rating, the sexual scenes are not unnecessarily graphic. Atame is a great film that deals with a controversial topic, however it is not nearly as thought provoking or moving as many of Almodovar's other films including Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Talk to her.
"¡Atame!" or the English title "Tie me up! Tie me Down!" is one of the
best works that i have seen of Almodovar. Is a funny, fresh and daring
comedy. With beautiful music, "¡Atame!" is the clever story of Ricky, a
crazy man who needs true love. He is obsessed with Marina, a porn star.
And now he decides to kidnapped her and make anything and she can love
This movie is an amusing and maybe different of all that Almodovar do. Of course has the touch of his movies, but this one it stands out of the little number that i see of him. With Antonio Banderas like the crazy man and Victoria Abril, that i see last time in "Tacones Lejanos", "¡Atame! is a story of wishes and desire. A story of how the an human been can meet another human been. You can say: "I will never belong to that person" and the next day you can be in love of that person. And i hope that don't misinterpret me... i mean, kidnap a person is a bad thing, and i don't support him. But, of course we sometimes reject persons that could be our person. "¡Atame!" has too an interesting perspective of the direction of a film. The movie talks about the end of a movie maker. A movie maker that just want do his last work good, before dies. Maybe is a fright or is an aspiration that directors has, because they don't want that the work be bad, they want a perfect movie, just like this character. A fright that all of we must give to face, no matter our aspirations or work.
"¡Atame!" is a great comedy that we must take like fun and of course like a teaching.
*Sorry for the mistakes... well, if there any
Pedro Almodóvar creates a hit, following up the frenetic & entertaining "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" with an erotic comic-fantasy. "Átame" (English title, "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down!") is a wealth of sexual comedy presented in a unique way that can only be ascribed to this inventive director. Many women may try to over-intellectualise the plot, or criticize the actions the main characters as inane. This is not a "love story", it's a "quirky love story-turned sexual fantasy". The story is delightfully funny, the actors build and deliver sexual tension quite well. This is a definite must-see (though you can't be too prude or offended by sexually explicit material).
While the topic of this work is rather wacky, I enjoyed it immensely and
had little trouble following the plot (his stuff is known to be just a bit
hard to follow, especially for non-Spanish speakers). I also felt the
of Abril and Banderas were better than usual.
There has been some talk of the NC-17 rating and I recall that this was "awarded" more because of the topic of a woman falling in love with her attacker than the sex, per se. I might be wrong about this, though.
It's Almodovar's best film that I've seen. Complex, raw, provocative and
very funny. Most of the initial press/comments on this film seemed to be
fairly ignorant. It's not sexist at all; it's quite a vicious critique of
the roles and expectations women are faced with and how they compromise
themselves and their desires to face them.
I thought it was astounding, hilarious and thought-provoking.
Pedro Almodóvar is certainly a controversial director and at first
glance a lot of people consider him a man who exploits sex. In fact he
does the complete opposite; he studies sexual relationships, sexual
tension, sexual desires, lust and love. I've always considered him a
remarkable director with the likes of his tightly "knitted" masterpiece
Live Flesh and the evocative drama Talk to Her. Though not always
appealing to the mass audience (being one of the directors with the
dreaded NC-17 inappropriately labelling his films) he has succeeded in
attracting critics, movie buffs and other directors to his films. With
all the labels and controversy that Almodóvar has had shafted upon
himself you'd be surprised at how differently you may interpret his
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! Follows the exploits of a man called Ricky (played by Antonio Banderas) who gets let out an asylum and stalks an "actress/porn star" named Marina who he once had sex with. He decides to kidnap her and tie her up, while still feeling guilty at his behaviour he hopes Marina will fall in love with him. The story moves at a very exhilarating pace as the viewer becomes introduced to a series of generally bizarre characters. The film manages to perfectly show the two polar opposites of both Marina and Ricky, yet including the similarities of them both. Ricky is definitely not what you'd call likable and yet of the surface Marina has a vibrant, amiable personality around her. Then once you come to know Marina you'll become uncertain of her "innocent" personality.
The film's offbeat sexy style is certainly one that will provoke the viewer, but at times the sexiness is taken away by the character's actions which are important for showing what kind of people they're. Almodóvar's visual style is one that excites and differs between claustrophobia and then opening the wide world the characters are surrounded by to the viewer. I've always considered Almodóvar to use a distinct style that feels as if its theatre, a lot of the scenes feels very staged which I personally adore. The intelligent use of vivacious colour to show the isolating pop culture is one that exhilarates the general feel of the film.
The script manages itself so creatively around the characters, as you watch a character suddenly change personality you'll come to realise the script writing helps the scenes burst with charisma and charm. Even with all the charm and wit you'll still find yourself overwhelmed by a sense of outlandish creepiness that undertones the film. The passionate romance seems so unreal and only kicks in for the main characters as the film progresses. For a film that revolves around very little set pieces and characters you'll find yourself involved with the eccentric prowess. The film's superb use of music creates the tones with excellence.
The film is certainly not one that is realistic and rather relies on the extreme character's fantasies to decide a resolution of your own. Technically dazzling and structured with such ease there's nothing quite like an Almodóvar work of art. Comic virtuosity enables the film the enchanting versatility and for that you're bound to love it. Downright brilliant, Spanish cinema with an extensive cult appeal and one that manages to captivate and enthral at all times. Not a film for everyone, but I'd say it's one that you should definitely attempt if you're interested in art house cinema.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
** Some Spoilery **
Once upon a time there was a straightforward story. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. Boy and girl share time, experiences and feelings. Boy still likes girl. Girl likes boy even more. Boy and girl live together happily ever after. Normally those shared experiences include some light comedy, a few moments of embarrassment, occasions of sadness and anger, and if we're lucky, those rare moments of true connection when heart meets heart and they beat together brightly while the world goes on around them. 'Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!' ( I would use 'Atame!' but I can't do upside-down exclamation marks), is such a love story and has all of the above present and correct. Two innocents meet by chance off-screen, and their paths to the future are set. Or at least that's what they boy thinks.
This film dares to use a controversial narrative to get the girl, and for that it deserves full marks. Its setting is childishly colourful and bright which is fitting considering the two leads are really teenagers in adult bodies. The mood is generally light. Even in the darker moments with the director's allusions to Hitchcockian suspense and horror, the suspense never materialises, soon bursting in a confection of whimsical threatlessness. The portrayal of a naive and obsessive love is wonderful. The fact that it celebrates this without criticism or cynicism is more wonderful still. There are no moral qualms about sex, sexuality, or nudity which might be dismissed (wrongly) as being 'European' in some quarters. This is as refreshing as it is rare. Both leads are having fun entirely appropriate to their roles.
However, I feel that the story here falls short of where it wants to be. Marina's emergence from her status as victim, becoming one of the lovers is rapid and not convincing. Her feelings revolve around toothache and pain relief. Her fear of her kidnapper is never that genuine. I'm glad there's no Stockholm syndrome in play, but there do need to be some moments where she loses the fear she should have and gains a trust she's never had before. Their absence lets down the film. The film also shies away from the fetishistic aspects of bondage. Though not a part of the story, they're certainly integral to the way the camera pans up the body of Marina when she's tied to the bed. Worse still, the film seems to support the view that power exchange within a relationship is not a healthy thing, and that 24/7 equality is to be striven for. A very safe viewpoint for such an 'edgy' film.
There is more good than bad here, but as a whole, it disappoints. Perhaps the main legacy of this film is that it was (allegedly) the first film to be rated NC-17 in the US, although the importance of this is probably overstated.
This is some more inspired insanity from Pedro Almodóvar, and so far, it is certainly my favourite Almodóvar film. There are many scenes in this film that are pure gold, and these more than make up for the occasional slow stretch, although these slow spots do keep the movie from being truly great. Abril and Banderas both give great performances as the leads, but really, the whole cast is effective. I just found this movie to have a wonderful mix of good storytelling with more than a little madness, and so I was left thoroughly satisfied.
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