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The story tells of a respected journalist who on the eve of his 90th
birthday decides to award himself with a final crazy night of love -
with a teenage virgin! His Madame of note, Rosa, who had not heard from
him - whom she calls El Sabio, her Wise Old One - for 20 years, agrees
to provide such a rarity for an additional fee of a pitiable couple of
So the arrangement is made, but when El Sabio is left in the maiden's bedroom, where naked, with gaudily painted face she is sleeping under a herbal sedative, he is touched by her appearance and vulnerability. His heart is moved by the situation, and other than to touch her hair and to sing a little song to her sleeping form, he does not attempt anything physical with her. He leaves some money on the pillow and takes his departure.
He informs Rosa of what passed, who asks if he wants his money back; no, he is not that stingy, but he asks to have another assignation with the girl, whom he calls Delgadina. This is arranged by Rosa, but the outcome is as before - she sleeps through his visit, he sings to her. And that is the core of the story - he realises that, for the first time in his long life he is in love. What follows I will not reveal, so as not to spoil the story for you; but I assure you that it is sweet, touching and beautifully told.
A feature of the telling of this story is the use of time-shift - we flicker from present to incidents vital, trivial, funny or sad at various times in the past, mostly memories of El Sabio's mother and of his interactions with the whores who serviced him and the fellow clients whom he recalls for one reason and another. It is a cleverly made pastiche that builds up into a richly coloured image of this man and of his long life without love, made almost tragically bitter-sweet by his realisation of what he has missed at this late hour of his life.
El Sabio expresses this in the line: 'Sex is the consolation for those that have not yet found love.'
For what it is worth, I heartily recommend this film - and I leave you to find out what happens in El Sabio's love affair for yourself. You will thank me for it!
My English subtitles for this are available at allsubs.org - enjoy!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you're into magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez you've struck
pure gold with this one. Otherwise you'd be into a movie demanding your
patience. As it usually is the case with book adaptations there will be
those claiming how the movie is better or worse than the book. But i
always ignore this and observe the movie as a story of its own.
Memoria de mis putas tristes offers some images we grew accustomed to when discussing Latin America. The city (or country) depicted is run by wealthy men who gather in brothels to enjoy some quality time. It is the atmosphere you'd expect in European capitals before WWI which somehow survived in this enclave a lot longer. Eventually, you'd admire the stamina of these men, since they shoot at all that moves even outside the aforementioned establishment.
Yet the greatest obstacle to them all seems to be falling in love, which the main protagonist delayed almost until his last breath. Whether this should imply something about all Latin American men i can't tell, yet the main character is a sad emotional weakling that is for some reason admired by all women he came across.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Memories of My Melancholy Whores (original Spanish-language title: Memoria de mis putas tristes) is a novella ( last one ) by Gabriel García Márquez. The book was originally published in Spanish in 2004, with an English translation by Edith Grossman published in October 2005. The film received the Special Young Jury Prize at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival Plot- An old journalist, who has just celebrated his 90th birthday, seeks sex with a young prostitute, who is selling her virginity to help her family. Instead of sex, he discovers love for the first time in his life. Banning- A Persian edition of Memories of My Melancholy Whores was published in Iran in October 2007, under the title Memories of My Melancholy Sweethearts. The first edition of 5,000 sold out within three weeks of publication,after which it was banned, after the Ministry of Culture received complaints from conservatives who believed the novel was promoting prostitution.
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