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Ok.. this is not an easy film to see, but I have to confess that I enjoyed every minute of the gross and rudeness of it... The performances are all great (at less I think they were all much more than believable) specially Laura Morante as Begoña... wow! The presence of Miguel Bosé was quite good, and the performance of young Miguel Angel Garcia was quite fine, even impressive... I think that this picture might be misunderstood as a poor and grotesque film but in fact I see it much more like an introspection of the human nature before adversities... Vicente Aranda probes to be a very risked director... I loved his work in Amantes but this is a total different kind of film making. Great ending, great ideas... pure originality. If you like bizarre movies about the alienation of human beings this is the one!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The discovery of an electronic device that will revolutionize the way
one can tell one's intimate thoughts and see them on a television
screen, proves to be Begona's downfall. This Spanish woman of an upper
middle class family, is bored with her life. She tries to have fun in
whatever form, especially sexual gratification wherever and with
whomever she can find. To say that Begona is suffering from a "nymph
related complex", is just putting it mildly.
As the film starts, Begona is seen at her mother's Christmans Eve dinner. She is clearly not happy being there, so she escapes to a club that because of the occasion is almost empty. Begona discovers a solitary drinker, Daniel, trying to connect with her. She decides to go with him, even though it's clear he is only a teenager.
When Daniel begins hanging out outside Begona's building, she wants nothing to do with him. After all, she can choose her sexual partners, as she sees fit. The celebration of the arrival of the New Year, finds her in a luxury apartment where among other pleasures, she agrees to help a young man trying to donate the sperm to her friend Maria, who wants to be a mother badly. She ends up in the room where many naked bodies are seen participating in an orgy.
All of the above description is only the first half hour of this Spanish film directed by veteran Vicente Aranda, who with this film outdoes himself with the material he decided to show his audience. Supposedly, the basis of this picture is a novel, which we never read, so there is no way one can compare it to what Mr. Aranda, and his co-writer, Alvaro del Amo decided to do with the original material, but one can imagine the novel must be quite explicit.
Laura Morante, a ravishingly beautiful Italian actress, plays Begona. Frankly, it must have been some experience appearing in a film that asked her to bare herself most of the time for the camera. Mr. Aranda does not leave anything to the viewer's imagination. Everything Begona does is clearly shown in a graphic manner. Not that one is a prude, but frankly, this type of "in your face" fare is too much.
The other commentary on this film points out to Miguel Bose's appearance as being "quite good" is a stretch of this person's imagination. The fact is that Mr. Bose only has a small scene, and frankly, it will not add anything to his cinematic C.V. Jose Coronado has some good moments, and better yet, he does not have to show his crown jewels, which is not the case of Miguel Angel Garcia, who plays Daniel, the seduced teenager, who goes on to marry Begona.
We caught this film while on a trip abroad. It does not appear it got a commercial run in the United States. We can only wonder what will Mr. Aranda have in store for his viewers next.
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