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

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A fairytale romance

6/10
Author: campblood13 from Austin, TX
14 August 2003

I can't say too much about this film without giving it away. Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril give good performances as their characters have such depth to them. Pedro Almodovar directs this film beautifully as he can't seem to make a bad film nowadays. For some strange reason I could identify with Ricky and his obsession with taking care of a woman who has many addictions. One thing I remember from the film is the music, I loved it. The final scene involves music and it was my favorite. This should not have been rated NC-17. A good film for mature adults. 6/10 Good

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Almodovar's masterpiece to date

Author: ncoxny from New York City
1 August 2001

And the best romantic comedy of the decade.

Almodovar may err on the side of exploitation, but he always has

genuine compassion for his characters. His situations are always

interesting, but his films can at times be uneven. He's perfectly

focused in this film.

Antonio Banderes plays a released mental patient who tracks

down a one time porno actress/ one time junkie who currently

stars in a series of slasher films. He follows her home and ties

her up. He does not rape, rob, or hurt her. He instead insists that

they had an affair before, and that they said that they'd get married

should Banderes be released. At first, she naturally thinks he's

nuts. But the more he keeps her captive, the more she begins to

succumb to his charms.

A wonderful film, full of color, humor, romance, and one of the best

sex scenes I've ver seen.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

10/10
Author: Mara-13 from Italy
5 August 1999

This is my favourite Almodovar movie and probably one of his masterpieces.

I have to confess that I have a weakness for this Spanish director because he really knows what passion is and you can see it from his movies. This movie has everything you may want: fun, drama, romance and even a couple of 'hot' scenes. Antonio Banderas is at his best and Victoria Abril is great. My vote for ¡Átame! is 10.

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Pedro Almodóvar film

7/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
10 August 2016

Ricky (Antonio Banderas) is released from a mental hospital. He is obsessed with former porn actress Marina Osorio (Victoria Abril) who he slept with once before. She's trying to go straight and working for a lascivious director. Ricky breaks into her home and takes her prisoner. He wants to make her fall in love with him but she doesn't remember him.

Filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar delivers another sexually daring movie. The most memorable scene is probably Marina in the bathtub with a scuba diver toy. Both Banderas and Abril are compelling leads. If anything, I would like for them to spend the entire time in the apartment as a two person play. It would be intriguing to see Almodóvar push his writing skills and let his two stars play with the material.

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Light and Likable but slightly disappointing.

6/10
Author: athena24 from Israel
28 September 2015

I have seen 'Tie me up, Tie me down' yesterday night with my wife. We both came up with a feeling that it was quite average, and we both were quite disappointed relatively to the good rating it has, and the majority of positive reviews. In fact when I lay in bed, yesterday night, I was thinking of why didn't I enjoy more? Great cast, fantastic camera work, interesting moments and on occasion it contains hilarious jokes. Yet the movie seemed to drag and bore instead of entertain or touch feelings. This morning I think I have the answer.

I didn't really buy what the director tried to sell. Marina didn't look like a heroin junkie or a porn actress. Her place was quite neat and she didn't have any sign of addiction or weakness towards drugs. She didn't look like the one who needed to be saved from herself. So I was told one thing but saw another and subconsciously it didn't fit. All the story was a bit silly and childish. Also, because it felt a bit childish and silly the explicit nudity and sex scenes seemed unnecessary.

To sum it up, 'Tie me up, tie me down' is light, has funny moments and without perversions prevailing in Almadovar's films on one hand. But on the other hand, it doesn't involve any strong feelings and it's not funny enough to hold for the whole movie and to be considered a good comedy.

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atame

10/10
Author: andizapatagj from Ecuador
4 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

one great movie. The best of almodovar till the date. The performances of banderas and abril are incredible as the script and direction of this crazy, sweet and incredible film of this extravagant Spanish genius. The most amazing thing of this movie is that it makes you wish the villain could win by the end of the movie and you're always rooting for the character of banderas even when you know what hes doing is wrong and that there are better ways to seduce a woman. You can understand him and later on even abril character ends up falling in love with him in own of the sweetest, smoothest and most romantic and passionate sex scenes in the movie history.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

there is no irony, only a morally-offensive picture

3/10
Author: dholliday from Berlin
16 April 2015

I'm no prude, not even close. And I have little time for most of the hysterical cries of modern middle-class feminism. But I believe violence-against-women to be one of the worlds' most profound (and common) problems and as such must be handled with care & respect in artistic mediums. There are many dumb movies which feature such violence but are justly ignored by the discerning viewer. Once Were Warriors & Nil By Mouth are two films which deal with this issue in an admirable way.

Almodóvar is someone who's raved about by the intellectual film community, and as such there is a responsibility for the film critic to question his values where appropriate. His films glorifies the woman-as-victim image: or rather the woman-as-plaything (see also La piel que habito). Tie Me Up champions this value, glamourises it, and worst of all, romanticises it. It's the male-chauvinist fantasy those mad fems have been warning us about all along, except they probably don't recognise it themselves as it's Almodóvar.

If you understand the psychology of women in abusive relationships, it's the feeling of being trapped and of being fooled by the perceived romanticism of it which prevents many from protecting themselves. It's a genuine problem, with lots of potential in the film medium as a dramatic premise. This film does the very opposite of shining a light on this issue, it merely encourages it. Those that claim detractors "miss the point", or "don't understand the irony" are missing the point themselves: there is no irony. It is what it is, and it is morally-irresponsible.

Still, the film-buff in me doesn't want to rate it quite a 1/10: the acting from both leads is very good, and the film's technicolour is appealing.

Recommended for those who want to decide for themselves.

Not recommended if the negative reviews here have convinced you.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A lot of tying in an oddity of a popular foreign title, nothing to write home about

5/10
Author: videorama-759-859391 from adelaide, australia
6 April 2015

This movie I must say, really didn't do much for me, or have me, if only for the two leads and some nice loud sets. TMUTMD is a very different love story indeed, with an offbeat and odd scenario, if for the characters themselves. An early star in the making, Banderas really gives a good performance, as a hunky troubled patient, Ricky, with some violent tendencies, who's just been released from the nuthouse. He's been doing the older matron there too. Obsessing about an old flame, and B porn actress, Martika (sexy April) he tracks her down, intent on making a life with her, to much her disapproval, first not even remembering him. Antonio dons a few disguises and his unstable self, were at moments, unsettling (those patients who can flip switches, calm, one moment, crazy the next. Resorting to kidnapping her, Ricky's determined to break her down while sharing some sexual interludes with her, while keeping her tied up, a few ways over a couple of days, where a movie set is missing a lead actress. April's character was very intriguing and captivating, where there are times she becomes compassionate and understanding to her captor, where other moments, she absolutely hates him. She was a hard nut to figure. You can't deny this great foreign actress has a sexy and magical presence. Yes, there are some saucy sex scenes, but it's not up to your average quota in these adult titles, foreign or otherwise. One scene, funny as, has her fantasizing in the bath, with only a wind up aquaman, below, keeping her asexual company, swimming along the surface and ending up at the honey pot of hers, between her legs. The movie is worth watching for the actors, especially if a fan of Banderas, years before he packed that guitar case of hard armorment. It's cute and happy ending is another oddity, if also unsatisfying, in one of the oddest love stories you'll see, that won't grow on you, and least likely forget, in the weeks that pass.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Provocative power-play; Almodóvar's most unconventional romance to date

Author: Graham Greene from United Kingdom
3 September 2008

A love story with strings attached; Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) is without question Almodóvar's most unconventional romance to date, expressing a number of themes that seem to continually contradict one another, while still managing to offer the usual ideas of meta-fiction and narrative self-reflexivity that Almodóvar's work is noted for. The film is also worth seeing for the subtle way in which the director develops and extends upon recognisable elements from his previous films, Matador (1987) and The Law of Desire (1987) - both of which focus on the ideas of obsession and domination within the context of an unconventional relationship - but extends upon these issues with a kind of manic, melodramatic kitsch that can be seen in the directly preceding Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) and the subsequent Kika (1993). Like Kika, the film would become one of Almodóvar's most derisive and controversial projects - particularly in the US - and although the presentation is often tamer than one might expect, the film nonetheless attempts to provoke the audience through a continual contrast of violence and tender sensuality, and the various other issues that the characters convey.

When your story revolves around a recently released mental patient kidnapping a recovering junkie porn actress in an attempt to make her fall in love with him through a combination of physical force and psychological manipulation, we know that certain elements are going to push the audience further than we might normally expect. However, in light of this, it is surprising how natural Almodóvar manages to make this bizarre relationship, creating a tone, both visually and thematically, that works in establishing this skewed, off-kilter world and the multifaceted complexities of his characters. If you keep in mind that the film is intended as farce - with the bold stylisations, larger-than-life characters and Almodóvar's great sense of musicality when it comes to the pitch, tone and energy of his performances - then you should be able to appreciate the film for what it is and what it is trying to achieve. On the one hand it is an incredibly entertaining film, with the great sparring between the two central protagonists and a veritable ensemble of larger than life supporting characters, including the legendary Francisco Rabal as a lascivious, wheelchair-bound film director focusing his creative energies into a final masterpiece, a sleazy epic about dangerous desires, lust and obsession (sound familiar?), but it is also an extremely thought-provoking and compelling piece of work that is open to deeper interpretations.

The dynamics within the relationship are nicely structured, with the character of Ricky initially standing out as a two-dimensional crazy person who is compelled to form a relationship with Marina after the couple shared a passionate one night stand almost a year before. The fact that Marina is able to cope with the situation, eventually taking the position of power, ultimately says a great deal about both of these characters, their lives and their back stories, and how the ending of the film could hold some kind of dramatic weight, even in light of its central abstractions. It helps that the performances from Banderas and Abril are as spirited and committed as they are; with both characters capturing that sense of confidence and strength punctuated by loneliness and a subtle fragility. Seeing work like Women on the Verge..., Kika and the film in question, you wonder why Almodóvar never made a full blown musical (what with those great big, theatrical sets, overwhelming Technicolor and sweeping crane shots). You can see these influences in much of his work, but instead of allowing the elements to explode into a wild collage of opulent self-indulgence (like the first half of Kika), the director manages to instead anchor the film to the personalities of his characters, their dynamics and relationship, and the complex interplay that will eventually develop between them.

Long time viewers of Almodóvar's work will immediately recognise the self-referential nature of the story, with the "film-within-a-film" aspect apparent right from the very start, with that continual Almodóvar-like framing devise, wherein the story within the film becomes a comment on the story itself. Alongside this central design we also have the character as a performer, an actress in this case, and a secondary character who is both an artist and delusional. As a result, we never quite know who to trust as the film progresses from one wild extreme to the next; with Almodóvar's always interesting directorial quirks and eccentricities creating an odd tone that can be seen as part crime thriller, part kinky sex comedy. Again, this style is well suited to the director's work and can be seen in everything from Matador, The Law of Desire and the acclaimed Live Flesh (1997). Though it has clearly proved to be problematic for many viewers (judging from the plethora of negative reviews listed online), I'd have to argue in its defence. For me, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is a great deal of fun; provocative certainly, with the continual contrast between violence and sensuality, humour and terror, but also filled with the usual wit, flair, depth and imagination that we've come to expect from the director and his work.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

finally seen it it 2002

9/10
Author: (VANCE_LEE@ATTBI.COM) from seattle
9 August 2002

i gave this film a nine, it's not every day you see a film about a stalker that you start to root for. but hats off to almodovar for pulling this off.

as far as the acting, to see banderas, the raw banderas, the unhollywood one to go from love to anger in one scene was to see how hollywood is at times missing the boat.

as far as abril, at time she steals the scene by just blinking them in terror or by pulled in two directions.

i loved this film.

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