A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.
One winter night, Pilar runs away from home. With her, she takes only a few belongings and her son, Juan. Antonio soon sets out to look for her. He says Pilar is his sunshine, and what's more, "She gave him her eyes"...
Excellent, enjoyable update on the Femme Fatale genre
I thoroughly enjoyed Carmen, better than Original Sin (Angelina Jolie & Antonio Bandaras), which share some thematic similarities, and which I also enjoyed very much. I felt the acting was stronger here (Paz Vega displayed a wider range, has more fire; and Sbaraglia was also great). Overall, their acting was more gritty, more believable (less dreamy than Original Sin, and both actors here had less 'celebrity status' and 'pretty face' to depend on to make the movie work. Vega definitely sizzles, as to be expected.
Director Vincente Aranda has also built a detailed world (again, better than Original Sin) that lets you feel the grime and the daily goings-on of archaic Spain - for example, people unloading goods from a cart on the street, workers changing the candles of the street lamps, all in the background of the action.
Whilst I greatly sympathize with the recent idea of redeeming our femme fatals (like Brian de Palma's Femme Fatale), Carmen is a poignant, modern take in the tradition of the noir classic Double Indemnity, and is a delightful pleasure to watch. This is another fine example of the triumph of daring European cinema over glitzy and safe Hollywood fare.
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