In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other.
Tony Leung Ka Fai,
"Frida" chronicles the life Frida Kahlo shared unflinchingly and openly with Diego Rivera, as the young couple took the art world by storm. From her complex and enduring relationship with her mentor and husband to her illicit and controversial affair with Leon Trotsky, to her provocative and romantic entanglements with women, Frida Kahlo lived a bold and uncompromising life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary. Written by
Usually, when you see a biopic about a famous artist and genius you either get to see a tragic, suffering creature or an idealized God. And often it's always the same: He/she was born, had a difficult childhood, created some masterpieces, had some affairs (usually with actors/actresses or/and musicians) and dies a sad and lonely death. But what a refreshing difference "Frida" was! Frida Kahlo's life was more suffering than joy, yet the movie does not pity her all the time but shows Frida's lust for life, love, art and her husband Diegor Riviera.
It tells the story of a really unusual life: When Frida is a student, young, beautiful, full of live and in love with a gorgeous boy (Diego Luna from "Y tu mama tambien" and "Dirty Dancing Havanna Nights) she experiences a horrible accident when her bus crashes with a tram. Frida then becomes a cripple for the rest of her life, but through this she experiences herself in a new way and starts to paint, mostly self-portraits where she deals with her pain, her family, political situations and people she loves. Soon after the accident a miracle happens: Frida learns to walk again and the first thing she does is to visit the famous artist and painter Diego Rivera to ask his opinion about her paintings the beginning of an unusual and often complicated love story that should last a lifetime.
We get to learn a woman who experiences so many tragic things in life that it should be enough to commit suicide, yet she never gives up, grows stronger and one thing that certainly helps her through hard times is her wit, her dignity and her love for life and art. She takes what she wants and needs (which also includes love affairs with men and women) but has also a lot to give. Plus her works, so honest, brutal but also beautiful in their truth, reveal one of the greatest talents of our time.
A whole lot of this movie works of course through its female protagonist, whose role is not that easy and a real challenge sometimes. The wonderful and graceful Salma Hayek, who is immensely gifted, does really great work here and awakes Frida and her world to life again. Hayek perfectly holds the balance between triumphs and losses, joy and sorrow, madness and daily routine, life and death. She is just a pleasure to watch, she doesn't play Frida, she IS Frida. Another important character is of course Diego Rivera, the greatest love of Frida's life. Alfred Molina, a great British actor, is perfectly casted for this role and besides, has a remarkable resemblance to the real Diego. Outstanding performances also by the supporting cast: Valeria Golino, Ashley Judd (with a great imitation of the Mexican accent), Geoffrey Rush and Edward Norton.
Frida a feast for the senses full of life and exploding emotions and a tribute to a truly unique and remarkable woman, who was the greatest female artist of the last century!
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