A veritable catalog of addictions, "La bien pagada" is very useful for the study of addiction to relationships, to sex, to diamonds and a few more dependencies, all of which helped filmmaker Alberto Gout to acquire more skill to later guide Ninón Sevilla through the meanders of emotional and physical misery in his cabaret classics, long before the publishing of self-help books and the practice of 12-step programs, more benefited with Ninón's honest impudence, than with the falsely refined posture of Maritoña Pons, who can't wait for the drums to beat to release her rumbera rascal. In the labyrinthine plot, when Carola Rute (Pons) is required in marriage by Fernando Jordán (Víctor Junco), a very rich business man, whose wealth is administered by her father, she accepts to marry, even though she knows that her sister Victoria (Blanca Estela Pavón) loves the entrepreneur. However Victoria is engaged to a whiny man from Jalisco, whose mother is possibly afflicted with Alzheimer (which nobody identified by then, but for the way he describes her condition ), and she marries him. If in a couple of dialog lines Carola says that she married Fernando because she was forced by her father (most probably melodrama b.s., by the upright image Gout offers of Mr. Rute), the new Mrs. Jordán does not wait too long to have an affair with a slimy pilot, an ex-boyfriend whom she "really loves". No wonder: Fernando is the classic inaccessible man, with a cold and distant attitude that he supposedly acquired in his ascent from misery (he was even an acrobat!) in the world of business, but he is ready to jump on Carola when she is lying in bed. Ah but when he discovers her in the pilot's arms, he rejects her, goes to Paris, refines himself a bit and comes back changed: more cheerful, but more of a bastard. By then, Carola is no longer Carola but Diamond Piedad (or Pity), an expensive prostitute that dances rumba in a chic cabaret, a plot point that legitimizes various musical numbers. What comes next is not narratable, concerning who loves who, and the short screen time it takes before they change the object of their affections, so if you laugh out loud it is completely understandable. It is interesting though to see Gout make two rehearsals of a scene that in 1950 would function very well in "Aventurera": as Pedro Vargas sings the title song written by Agustín Lara, a hurt and suffering Ninón Sevilla crosses the dance floor of the cabaret, feeling that don Pedro is reproaching her and only her for being a tramp. In "La bien pagada" it happens twice: Carola a.k.a. Diamond Piedad crosses the hall, first, as María Luisa Landín sings "Amor perdido" ("Lost Love"), while Carola feels Landín is singing about no other love but the love she lost from Fernando; and to finish off, she makes a second miserable crossing, as Miguel de Molina sings "La bien pagá" ("The Well Paid"), so there is no doubt she is the one. If you want to have fun and complete your Gout album, don't miss "La bien pagada". If you prefer a more polished and sharpened Gout, better search for "Aventurera" and "Sensualidad".
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