Kika, a young cosmetologist, is called to the mansion of Nicolas, an American writer to make-up the corpse of his stepson, Ramon. Ramon, who is not dead, is revived by Kika's attentions and... See full summary »
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A girl's mother returns after 15 years to find her daughter has married one of her (the mother's) old boyfriends. They try to mend their broken mother/daughter relationship and deal with ... See full summary »
Kika, a young cosmetologist, is called to the mansion of Nicolas, an American writer to make-up the corpse of his stepson, Ramon. Ramon, who is not dead, is revived by Kika's attentions and she then moves in with him. They might live happily ever after but first they have to cope with Kika's affair with Nicolas, the suspicious death of Ramon's mother and the intrusive gaze of tabloid-TV star and Ramon's ex-psychologist Andrea Scarface. Written by
Erik Gregersen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Maybe this isn't as good as the bulk of Almodóvar's output: not having seen the bulk of his output, I'm in no position to tell. I do remember that there was general disappointment in 1993. As I recall - obviously, one could find out by checking primary documents whether or not my recollection is correct - every critic and his dog took the opportunity to say "This time Almodóvar has gone too far", which meant, depending on the critic, either "Almodóvar is being too silly", "Almodóvar is trying too hard to get our attention", or "Almodóvar has finally lapsed into morally reprehensible sexism".
I find all of these reactions hard to understand. "Kika" is such a sweet, such an INNOCENT film! Maybe you didn't have fun, as I did; but how could anyone OBJECT to it? Far from being hard to like, the characters were such that I found myself warming to the worst of them: Kika herself is completely adorable, the outrageous Andrea turned out to have a heart, of sorts - certainly she had an ethos -, and even Nicholas and Ramón revealed some human traits. If I have a complaint about anyone's characterisation it would be Ramón's. When we first meet him he's just a cold fish; not a bad man, but we can't like him. By the end of the film I found myself wondering if the mild warmth Almodóvar discovered had really been there all along, or if he it had been smuggled in when we weren't looking. No matter: the film isn't about him, anyway.
There's nothing gruesome about "Kika", nothing cruel, nothing hard to watch. (Well, maybe a touch of blood in one final scene, but I can forgive that.) There's a lot of sex, no doubt, but none of that terribly EARNEST stuff one finds in American movies...
[I'm about to reveal something. Stop reading now if you haven't seen the film.] ...One of the things I'm sure many critics objected to was the rape scene. Almodóvar played it as a comedy, in the way that so many directors will play an armed robbery - and it was a kind of armed robbery - as comedy. At first we wonder if Kika is so clueless that she doesn't realise she's being raped. But in fact she's just postponing her shock, in a way that is - well, ludicrous, but also commonplace. The entire extended sequence of which the rape is part is so delightfully ridiculous BECAUSE, not in spite of, all the characters' perfect clarity of purpose.
If this IS one of Almodóvar's lesser works I shouldn't hesitate to see the rest.
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