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Her name is Mina, but she is called Bambola (doll). Upon the death of her mother, she and her homosexual brother, Flavio, open a pizzeria. A man named Ugo loans Bambola the money, but is then killed in a fight with another one of her boyfriends, Settimio. While visiting Settimio in jail, she meets a sadistic man named Furio, and they begin a relationship. Written by
.........I chanced across a Bigas Luna riding the sexual utopia of anything goes and probably went. Fixations have never been a good idea in any direction, and if erotism is the crowning thorn in the exaltation of the most sublime that can be put on celluloid, as far as this Catalonian director is concerned, one might understand why I would rather give up the ghost. Having already been blessed with such titles as `Volavérunt' (1999) (qv), `La Femme du Titanic' (La Camerera del Titanic) (1997) and `Las Edades de Lulú' (1990) (qv) among others, I did not expect anything constructive cinematographically from `Bambola'. And I was right.
More Italian than anything else, the story has nothing to offer any different from any other third-rate film based on sexual exploits coming out of Hollywood or anywhere else, such as those put on late at night on Saturday. It is obvious, watching any of Bigas Luna's films, that he has great talent, but if he is only able to focus on sexual adventures and fantasies, my suggestion is that he do something else. He seems to pick on dubious literature of a sexual fantasy nature, by rather poor writers Almudena Grandes is the most notorious example and seek to convert them into films: the result is mostly vulgar with very poor taste. I hope he never embarks on his version of Marguerite Duras´ novel `L'Amant', of which we already have a deplorable version (Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1991).
`Bámbola' is nothing more than a modern attempt at some kind of story as lived by young Italians trying to grow up with their sexual awareness being aroused. So if you like actors breathing heavily as the camera creeps around at different angles of lovers' bodies, naked or only partially, you just might find something invigorating in this film. I did not: my intellectual level is a little above that of a pervert. Sorry, Señor Bigas Luna: I do not like your films, though I must admit you do have talent and ideas, concepts and visualizations for making films it is just that, as far as I am concerned, you've gone up a dead-end street/cul-de-sac/calle sin salida.
You need not bother with `Bámbola', but if you insist on a Bigas Luna film, try `Volavérunt', which, I must say, did not greatly please me, but at least it clambered out of the foaming pool of idiocy, which `Bámbola' did not.
Two out of ten, because, as usual in Bigas Luna's films, the photography is very good.
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