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Benito González works construction in Melilla and dreams big - of building the tallest building in Benidorm, a great phallic symbol of power, González Towers. Over several years, we see Benito's rise and fall, much like the construction of his tower. Through force of personality, he puts the financing together, taking advantage of women who love him - Claudia, a model who wants to be a star, and Marta, the US educated daughter of a banker whose loan Benito needs. Can his force of personality - his huevos de oro - compensate for shoddy building materials, no permits, and undercapitalization? Nature may have her own power and surprises in store for Benito. Written by
So, announces the DVD. But, this was a disappointing film. Not particularly bad but definitely not that good. Rather more crude and MTV video-like than the more subtle and masterful Jamon Jamon.
None of the characters are likable, the lovely Penelope Cruz of Bigas Luna's first film replaced by vacuous supermodels (in comparison, maybe they are great actresses) and it all reads like a tawdry and cheap paperback that you'd pick up at motorway service station.
Which, maybe is how Luna wanted it. Maybe he really is that repelled by the capitalist, nouveau-riche alpha male who believes his 'balls' not only rule his life but everybody else's, too. I know I am, and most people would be, too. Asked why Javier Bardem's lead character is sporting two gold Rolex's, he announces back "I have two balls, so I have two Rolex's".
Artistically there is little merit to this film, but it is about overblown, over-macho stereotypes and how they think they can walk over everybody. There are nods to Dali (the nude with ants over her pubic region is an extreme example) and there are more phallic insinuations in Goldenballs than any other film I know of. From Gonzalez (Bardem) Towers, intended to be the tallest tower on the Med, in which Luna loosely stretches a fabric of some kind of story around, with his dodgy dealings and cost-cutting.
Like, possibly his Tower, Gonzalez, and his potent sexual erections, does come a cropper, which is of some redemption, admittedly, but not enough to save the film. There's an early role for Benecio del Torro as the Miami-set gardener who happens to do more than service the sprinkler....
What finally made me only award two stars was the poor DVD quality. It's of video standard, plain and simple.
I bought Goldenballs as I wanted the three films in Luna's 'Iberian passion' trilogy, of which it is the middle. I'm seriously hoping that the final part, 'The Tit and the Moon' is an improvement.
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