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Not the best film ever to come out of Spain, but makes some pertinent points about some contemporary issues, which must surely be (almost) as timely in the US as for us in "federal" Europe at the moment. Not least of them, how much are our perceptions of love, loyalty and honour shaped by our perceptions of our relative socio-economic and geographical circumstances?
Personally, I agree with the reviewers who felt the Bulgarian interlude is very important for assisting characterisation - particularly for helping explain the motivations of Kyril and Kalina. I can understand some bristling at what they see as offensive clichés about disenfranchised eastern Europeans, but hey, it's the work of one director, not some Party committee. However, he does seem to tread the line between thriller, comedy and Almodovar-style melodrama with the unease of someone who's a bit rusty (and the clunkingly obvious "tribute" scene to Almodovar's "Law of Desire" when Kyril and Daniel are returning home from a drunken night out as Madrid's municipal cleaners hose down the street could only ever make you pine for that earlier, greater work).
Having said that, I think it bears repeat viewing. But, as for the "gratuitous nudity" - uptight Americans get over yourselves, please. There is hardly any.
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