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Pizza delivery man Victor is having an argument with Elena, whom he met a few days ago, but she was high then and doesn't want to hear about him. Reacting to the noise, two cops, young David and older Sancho, arrive at the scene, the gun accidentally goes off.. Four years later David is a wheelchair basketball star, he's married to Elena, Victor is released out of prison and their destinies begin to cross again. Written by
Pedro Almodóvar changed the way of making cinema in Spain; and doing it, he has impressed movie watchers around the world. You have seen his movies; they are a mix of cruelty that includes honesty and passion. Not honesty in Almodovar's characters, but in the way they are written, showing a tough reality. About passion, well, it occupies a place in every person, but is not always shown; Almodóvar takes care of that.
He introduces you to the characters in the story, then he starts to develop a plot that you're going to see, even if it is predictable. Víctor (Liberto Rabal) has lost, or not, his virginity with one woman (older than him). He's not an expert when it comes to casual sex, but she wants to see this woman again, and doesn't understand why she acts like she didn't care what happened. The thing is he doesn't know she does it every week. Then we see David (Javier Bardem) and Sancho (José Sancho) working in their car. They are cops. David is honest and professional, Sancho is alcoholic and incontrollable; his wife, Clara (Ángela Molina), cheats him with another man. Sancho loves her, but beats her and keeps her locked in the house. The one who connects them all is Elena. Víctor fights with her, the police arrives, someone is shot and we see a frame that shows the movie some years later.
The person who was shot is David, who walks (well, he doesn't walk) in a wheel-chair. David saved Elena's life; they're married. Víctor is getting out of jail; he shot David. Sancho is in the same situation with his wife. Now Víctor is angry, and plans his revenge; eventually he meets Clara, and follows Elena, and everything is connected again, until the end.
Javier Bardem is excellent as David. He can cry while he talks and convince you that he is suffering. He is the finest Spanish actor, and it was wonderful to see him fighting against his character's decisions to do the things he has to.
Francesca Neri didn't seem Spanish while I was watching the film. She isn't, but she has the looks of a "femme fatally", and that was perfect for her role, which connected everything and had the strongest lines.
José Sancho gives a good support as Sancho, reaching the extremes with his face. His character is doomed, because what happens to him now is not going to stop, and the worst part is that he knows it.
Ángela Molina doesn't have the chance to shine, but still does a decent work, with what she has got. She can't be having sex with one only man, and she shows it.
Liberto Rabal doesn't show much acting talent, he's not the mos experienced in the cast, but somehow, when he talks, he seems not right, but perfect, for his role. Listen to him at the end and you'll see.
Almovodar is gifted and he proves it in each frame of this tale. You need to look at every part of the shot to see the details he is giving to the piece. Look at the sexual scenes; the balance he achieves: it's not so strong, but not soft either. It's subtle. His way of directing the actors is amazing. He writes the movie, and knows it more than anyone, so you know he is there to tell the cast what to do, and help them obtain their amazing performances. It's a visual style with life of its own.
I said it. There's cruelty and honesty at the same time. There's passion. There's betrayal, lies, sex. You see it in the characters, in their words. When David arrives home and sees his wife Elena in bed, and starts to touch her; she doesn't like it. "What's the matter?", he asks. "It hurts", Elena answers. "Why?", he says. And with a face that involves everything I'm talking about, she looks at him: "Because I've been having sex all night"
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