|Index||8 reviews in total|
The first time that I saw that this movie only had a 5.something in
IMDb I thought "maybe is not a good idea" but I gave it a chance and...
WOW! Its funny (Sometimes dark, violently funny)thrilling, its been
long, maybe since "Fargo" that a movie amazed me this much, the mix of
genres is outstanding, it starts with comedy, shifts to thriller and
finally to a drama.
The characters are so funny and fragile (Even though sometimes they do terrible things) but thats one of the things that I liked the most, the movie is challenging, you never know where the director is gonna take you and is always surprising. The actors are great, specially Vicente Romero and Angela Molina, they steal the movie.
By the way the ending is one of the best endings I've ever seen, so moving... A great film about bad guys with a huge heart, a must see!
With outstanding visual effects that are not shy in trying to reveal the influence of Guy Ritchie's filmography, "Carne de Neon" is a brilliant film that, contrary to the tedious Spanish film industry, does not intend to tackle moral lessons within the overused context of the Civil War. Abounding with graphic scenes that are typical of any gangster movie,Paco Cabeza's tour de force consists of an almost impossible skill to combine irreconcilable ingredients, in a story in which each character has his/her own inner contradictions. For example: Ricky keeps a very cold, detached attitude towards the sad situation of the prostitutes, and however, he is capable of anything in order to win back his mom's recognition; Angelito's tough superficial behavior melts down when he is in front of his dog, Rocco, or when he thinks he can kill his long-time partner/prostitute/heroin addict, Canija; El Niño (the Kid)'s physical brutality gives way to a deep tenderness when he falls in love with the African immigrant. Full of dark humor,action, and suspense, the film entertains while it also reflects on the shady universe of Eastern mafias, human traffic, illegal immigration,drugs, prostitution, and corruption. Wonderfully crafted script in which everything seems to obey some kind of poetic justice by which, after so many chaotic events, the ending resolution fits in accordingly. Surprisingly, Cabezas succeeds to make the starring actor, Spanish teenage fans' idol Mario Casas, blend perfectly with the rest of the cast without seeming out of place or eclipsing the others. While the whole cast's work is remarkable, Damaso Conde clearly stole the show as the transvestite Infantita (Pricess), providing such a virulent environment with a balancing comic relief.
to be an non English spoken movie i was able to compare it to "burn after reading" or "natural born killers" without the grunge aspect of the later one. It is to me an excellent Spanish film where there are subplots that intertwine with the main theme which is deep son's love for his mom which is the main theme of the movie, and how sometimes some people end up benefiting from otherwise very frustrating situations in life,, the end is resolved in a very awkward fashion but satisfactorily for the main character, it is designed to be a cult movie although i would not bet on that happening cause of a language barrier .it depicts some hard and awful truths about Spanish reality on the streets, i would not classify it as a comedy but more of an action drama with comedy elements . Excellent filmography , art direction and movie settings... all characters are amazingly well played even secondary roles.,, i recommend it if you are for up for urban cowboy style films..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was not quite sure what to expect of the movie, but I was positively
The technical side of things looks like this: art, style and overall theme are nicely done, the director did a fine job here. Considering he did (prior to Carne de Neon) only some minor work. So it's rather astonishing what he pulled off. Editing, lighting and sound are en par with each other and support the entire setting rather well.
However, what really gives the movie its unique charm are the characters. Especially Infantita is such a vibrant and lovable character- he is a transvestite who thinks he's the illegitimate son of Juan-Carlos of Spain. At the same time he struggles to become the woman he always wanted to be.
Similar to this all characters are lovable, somewhat skewed, yet still very much human with normal emotions. IMO none of the characters is really unlikable, they have so much "normality" in them, it's almost uncanny. And from this, and their interactions, this movie draws its strength.
The story is (in parts) slightly crazy, bordering on the absurd. When your Mom gets out of prison, what do you do? Mind you, she was in prison for prostitution. Of course, you open up a brothel for her! What else, right? Joining this main arc we have some sub-plots that tie into the main arc: human trafficking, turf wars, corrupt police, personal problems and maladies, love and friendship. The sub-plots are woven into the main story in an orderly manner, mostly. Here and there is a tiny glitch, or a little bit of a "forced connection", if I may call it that. But apart from slight and tiny misses the story is spot on.
In general the movie looks and feels like a bit of Guy Ritchie, sprinkled with some Tarantino and a whole lot of Spanish zest. You can tell it's an Euroflick and that it was not made to please the masses. But this is exactly what really makes this one stand out.
Slight deductions in score result from the dialogues. Unfortunately I speak no Spanish, so I watched the dubbed version. Maybe something got lost in translation, who knows. I probably did not get all the cultural references either, so I can only blame myself.
If you are looking for some light-hearted entertainment, that still manages to touch a few touch subjects without being goofy or pathetic, you should give this one a go.
Ricky, a young man who has grown up in the streets, wants to re-open
the old Hiroshima Club (a brothel) with his two close friends in order
that his mother, who has just been released from jail, will find a
place where to work. Seems a rather simple idea, but enter
writer/director Paco Cabezas and this 'comedy' becomes a rather raunchy
bloodbath of poor taste saved only by the performances of a group of
really talented actors!
To summarize the rather directionless story, try the following: 'Ricky (Mario Casas , a young charismatic Spanish actor who makes this story work) was abandoned at age 12 by his prostitute mother, Pura (Angela Molina). He lives the life of a street boy with help from pimp Angelito (Vicente Romero) and his junkie girl friend Scrag (Macarena Gomez); Angelito's hulking, simple-minded associate, El Niño (Luciano Caceres, another triumph of a performance); and transvestite La Infantita (Damaso Conde) who is trying to make money for a transgender surgery. Ricky is saving up to open a brothel as a gift for Pura when she gets out of jail -- a dangerous move, since they would be encroaching on the territory of tough guy El Chino (Dario Grandinetti). Ricky and Angelito (with some help from buy three Eastern European women for the club: it's suggested they're saving the girls from something worse. Sadly for Ricky, when Pura is released from jail, she's in the early stages of Alzheimer's and can't remember who he is. El Chino gives Ricky a week to raise a huge sum of payoff money for encroaching on his territory. The second half turns on his attempt to raise the cash, involving the kidnapping of Veronica (Blanca Suarez), the teenage daughter of corrupt police inspector Santos (Antonio de la Torre). There is a face-off at the end and it is surprising who survives!
Nearly all of the characters are sympathetic with Ricky, Angelito and the Kid forming an oddly appealing trio. There are many subplots - El Niño falls for a pregnant captive Irina (María Zamarbide ) who upon having her baby bonds with El Niño despite the fact that the baby is put up for sale on the black market while under the loving care of La Infantita, is an example - but in the end this is a rasty, at times funny but at other times crude and distasteful, self indulgent movie from Spain, saved (thankfully) by a super cast of actors! In Spanish with English subtitles. Grady Harp, March 12
Rickey is introduced at the beginning, as he narrates his life story as
the child of a prostitute who was abandoned at the age of twelve as she
ended up in jail. Awaiting her release from the pokey, he decides to
celebrate by opening a nightclub/whorehouse in her honor. He and two
other low level street criminals "recruit" girls for this undertaking.
The drafted hookers include a Russian and a pregnant African refugee
who gives birth to a boy shortly after starting to earn her keep at the
brothel. In between, as Rickey's mom is paroled and her son picks her
up for a family reunion, he discovers that the years of alcohol abuse
have given her early Alzheimer's disease, so she does not recognize
Added to the cast of misfits is a mob boss named Chino, who is deeply disturbed by Rickey opening a place without his permission. He also seeks revenge on the police for beating his son to death during an arrest. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, simplify. Unfortunately, the writer has too many subplots going at once, which spoils some excellent acting by Mario Casas as Rickey and Angela Molina as his mother. Even with the criticism, Neon Flesh is still worth watching.
First things first: The cinematography in this is really amazing. Great
lighting, great framing, very well done. Someone has studied their
thrillers very thoroughly and made good notes on how to be inspired by
them. I also have to point out, that the story is trying to be socially
relevant. Not with too much weight on the morality though. Or not in
the way most viewers are used to.
The movie does not have (m)any likable character in it. Starting with our "hero", his best friend and the rest of the bunch. But even within that group it tries to create diversity. Give characters more than one facet. I use the word try, because I don't think it fully succeeds in most of its attempts. You can still get excited by it (as one reviewer here has shown and good for him/her), but you have seen far better movies than that. Or at least I hope you have.
Talk about misogyny can easily be brought up with this movie. While it is not afraid to touch hot topics (human trafficking being another one amongst many), the characters never seem to do the right thing. If that offends you, you most definitely won't like the movie. The twists are predictable and you have to decide on your own, if that's the way you'd say thanks to your mom. In the end, the movie tried to put too many things together and might even fail many with its attempt to solve things with its (bad?) humor
There are somethings i like about this movie...It is very well filmed.
the story its located in Europe but is filmed in south America and I
think successfully...I suppose this decision was taken for questions of
budget. I really like this part, i think its smart and works very well.
On the other side I had the sensation of someone putting together a
collection of well produced images but without a basic idea of how to
build a narrative. Some kind of Guy Ritchie film without
bones...without a script.
At the end a sensation of pretentious chaos, weak characters in a labyrinth without solution . I appreciate ambition but only in the consciousness of its creative limitations. Good effort and good technical skills on the way to nowhere.
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