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Balada triste de trompeta
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Last Circus More at IMDbPro »Balada triste de trompeta (original title)

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Index 35 reviews in total 

15 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Alex de la Iglesia, the Spanish Fellini.

Author: David Traversa from Argentina
9 May 2011

To watch this movie and enjoy it one must suspend all judgment.

It doesn't pretend to show us scenes of everyday living, or the girl next door shopping at the supermarket.

It deals with the same magic world that García Márquez deals with in his exotic novels. Marvellously created world. As thrilling as any Fellini movie. The circus world is the perfect setting for developing this view, between fantasy, nightmares and awful reality.

The pacing is relentless, a thousand things happening during the 120 minutes or so, all of them linked within the main story and showing a whole range of human emotions among the three main characters: The Smiling Clown, The Sad Clown (his sidekick) and the beautiful trapeze girl, the object of jealousy, fury, rancor between the two clowns.

Every scene is visually baroque in essence, since action takes place in the foreground but also in the background, with secondary characters.

There is a full color palette, dazzling as an old kaleidoscope making all sorts of beautiful patterns that change in front of our eyes delighting us continuously.

The acting is superb, from the principal actors to the last extra. The delivery of the lines in Spanish is done at full speed, clean as a whistle and sharp as a cracking whip by all the actors.

The digital effects perfect. Top entertainment from beginning to end. What a SEN-SA-TION-AL movie!!!

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Crazy Clowns with guns....what could be wrong?

Author: CrazinessCax from Argentina
14 September 2011

Great movie. Not for everyone. At the very beginning you will know what kind of movie you are going to watch. Very dramatic, funny and terrifying. Has every ingredient, but you will find it difficult to classify it in a genre. The story is not different from what you've probably seen before, what makes the difference is the way it is told. 10 points for the acting. You actually feel the changes every character has as the movie goes along. The music also flows great with the film in every way, and creates fantastic atmospheres in every moment. The editing may be the weakest thing of the film. Anyway, great. You don't get to watch a dark funny film very often...

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

No clowning around, this is a big top treat!

Author: Maz Murdoch (asda-man) from United Kingdom
15 February 2013

The moment I saw the trailer for The Last Circus, I fell in love. The bizarre, yet sublime, imagery, the engaging story, the intense music. The Last Circus looked like a hit! However, when some mediocre reviews came in I lowered my expectation slightly, but after seeing it, I needn't have bothered! The Last Circus astonished me at how good it was! I was left in amazement at seeing such a strange, beautiful, funny, sad, tragic and gripping gem. The Last Circus deserves to be a cult classic, for it will certainly not be to everyone's tastes, but it is certainly is to my tastes!

The sublime opening sets the tone for the rest of the film. Children laugh as all the institutional information pops up, and then we realise that they're laughing at the clowns in the circus. This laughter is suddenly cut rather short however, when an army man comes in (because it's the civil war) declaring all the circus members to fight! Then some wonderfully weird titles come up with seemingly random images of the Spanish civil war, Universal monsters and other random film clippings including Cannibal Holocaust. Its bizarre and unconventional, which is exactly what this film is! The engaging opening is then finished off with some fantastic imagery of a clown dressed up as a woman, carrying a machete and slicing up the opposition! It's a fantastic surreal image and one you're not likely to forget.

After this great back-story has finished, we're introduced to our hero (or anti-hero). The sad clown. A great shot introduces us to all the weird and wonderful characters and it's often hilarious. We've got an elephant who gets jealous when her owner talks to another woman, we've got two old bickering dog trainers and the list goes on. It's a funny sequence and also a great way to get us introduced to all the characters, all of which are brilliant creations. But obviously the sad clown falls for the beautiful trapeze artist, who belongs to the happy clown. The happy clown is a seriously nasty piece of work. The first time we see him, he's tossing dwarfs out the door! It's this rivalry that drives the film forward. However, as the film goes on the line between good and evil begins to blur.

I don't want to say any more on the story because it would be a shame to spoil it. The great thing about the Last Circus is that it tells a story. It's a story I loved, and obviously one which the film-makers cared about because it's told so well. The characters are fantastic, with people you can care about, and others you can't. You'll root for the tragic sad clown, who is the only one who has the guts to stand up to the bullying happy clown, but things later take an unpredictable turn. The Last Circus is a love story at heart, and the poor person in-between this bitter feud is the innocent Nathalia, the trapeze artist who you can't help but feel sorry for as she drives two clowns absolutely wild!

The Last Circus never stops looking amazing. Sometimes it looks more like an art piece than a film, especially when crazy imagery comes into play such as a clown machine-gunning a restaurant! The grand finale is surprisingly cinematic and quite a spectacle to behold. The Last Circus also never forgets its entertainment-value as horror fans are given some gloriously entertaining blood-shed, without it ever forgetting its story and characters at heart. The Last Circus has a big heart, and quite an emotional ending that left me in surprise.

Another great thing about The Last Circus is the pace. The pacing is sometimes break-neck, and the story motors along, trying not to waste a single frame. Sometimes I felt that it moved too quickly, and it would've been nice to soak some of it in. I also thought that the sad clown's descent into madness was too quick and unconvincing, however let's not forget that we're watching a film about two warring clowns! The Last Circus is not trying to be normal! The gripping narrative all culminates into an all-action finale that's pretty intense. The spectacular directing goes up another notch, and the fairytale soon comes to an end we all were hoping to see, and one that's actually very sad.

The Last Circus was even better than I thought it was going to be. From the trailer, I expected a bit of a mess (a beautiful mess nonetheless) however what I got was a focused story, with fantastic characters, spectacular directing and a tight screenplay. The Last Circus really is amazing to behold and unlike anything I've ever seen (and I've seen Taxidermia!) It's severely underrated and reminded me of The Prestige with clowns. So if you're after some surreal imagery, a gripping narrative, some intense directing and characters you can actually care about, then roll up, roll up for The Last Circus! No children allowed!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This movie is shockingly awesome :)

Author: abkdiamonds411 from USA
10 September 2012

If you don't like violence, this movie is not for you. This may be the maddest love triangle movie of all time. I don't want to say too much because not really having a clue what it is about and being SHOCKED is half of why I think I liked it so much. Again, if you don't like violence don't watch it. My mother would hate this movie. Which is usually a good indication that I will like it. If I were going to categorize it, it's a psychological thriller/romantic tragedy gone completely MAD. You can't put this movie in a category really, I've never seen anything quite like it. I'm not much into reading subtexts but for some reason, with this movie I didn't mind.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Genre-crossing, unpredictable horror/comedy/drama

Author: from Canada
7 July 2011

Lately I tend to give every movie that I can't predict more favourable reviews than I should, but I really enjoyed this. My local video store clerks (at the stellar Eyesore Cinema in Toronto, Canada) tend to just hand me a movie to rent when I walk in, so I have no idea what I'm about to see until I get home and put it in my DVD player. Maybe they just know me there, but I thought this one was definitely something. It's strange how so many unlikable characters couldn't stop me from liking the film.

I can understand why the film is so polarizing. I gets 1 star reviews and 5 star reviews. That's often the sign that a film is at very least memorable. Totally original, unpredictable, funny, odd, horrifying, cartoonish, very violent, and filled with characters few could relate to, yet ultimately it's all wholly watchable. The Last Circus is sort of like 5 films in one and crosses genres wildly, but it kept me entertained throughout, which is pretty much all I ask of a film.

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What happened to Alex de la Iglesia?

Author: ciffou from El Salvador
21 May 2015

Several years ago I watched "El dia de la bestia". I recall I had fun. Then with "Crimen Ferpecto" I laughed several times. I watched it so many times. Then it was "las brujas..." and I could not believe what I had just witnessed. Then I learned he had done this before - I just watched it. My god! This was a terrible mess. I don't know which one is worse.

I bet Iglesia watched one night that clip of Rafael singing and thought "I should do something with clowns again! But creepy clowns! I need animals around! So I need maybe a circus...or a war? Maybe both! Who cares? BLOOD!!!!"

I can't decide what's worst: the acting or the editing. The kid at the start, Alejandro Tejerias and even the leading lady...they are B.A.D.!

Our director AND writer just needed blood and beautiful photography. If that's all you as audience need, there you go, this is your movie. If you need a good story or simply a story that makes sense, you will be fighting to remain sane.

Things I wrote down while suffering with this: -SPOILERS AHEAD- They are hiding in the shower from the jealous lover inside the trailer, then it's another day, how did they manage to escape? The guy is deformed by the vet...but he has to go outside in a completely different place to see his new face again? When the guy is running from the pig, sometimes we see the animal and sometimes we don't...I guess there was not enough money. How much time has passed? What did the other guy do while the clown was hiding in the woods and the others left the circus? A single guy with a small gun can stop several soldiers - soldiers that, by the way, can't shoot a damn thing! What was the point of having them there? Background noise from their bullets? What does Natalia want? Am I suppose to root for her? If she could run even with clown shoes, why didn't she do it sooner? Everybody is awful! Nobody reacts when a shotgun is near them. The police went inside before him but he finds the couple first?? What was the point of wasting screen time with "Motorista-fantasma"? Why?

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The only film to ever make me care about clowns,

Author: Cody Rapp (biscutbuu69) from United States
13 July 2014

The plot Fallows Javier the new, shy depressed and mentally disturbed sad clown at the circus who falls in love with a trapeze artist whose boyfriend is brutally abusive and mentally disturbed as well, and now she must choose between them.

'The last Circus' is a brilliant film well made well acted and written the lighting gives it the very colorful yet at the same time gray and depressing look. a very sad and yet at the same time. An entertaining and funny film never before has a film ever made me care about a character that is a clown and just so you know I freaking hate clowns This film seems like a film that Tarantino or Miike would make, it really does. This is one of those movies here it will make your jaw drop one second and make you cry the next then cringe ten laugh its one of those films that mixes genres so well and it makes its own genre of film I call it a clown-drama film because this one mixes elements the horror of clowns, the drama of depression and the comedy of clowns which while they are not actually funny they still are relevant with comedy. This is not a film I could recommend to anyone with a weak stomach or with an affinity to violence because this is more graphic than a Tarantino flick even on the level of Miike's violence and the effects are all very well done even the CGI blood was good looking to the point where it took me a while to realize it was CGI. The film doesn't get its horror twist to it till the last 30 or 40 minutes when everything just takes a turn. there is some CGI that is pretty bad though but the film is enjoyable, smart, and funny enough to make it worth while. 10/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I got goosebumps.

Author: pinar ornek from Turkey
17 October 2013

My first reaction with my half Spanish was "es una pelicula loca y enferma". I am not sure if these phrases have the same meaning with "such a sick and crazy movie". I've just directly translated from English. However, I think that this story is one of a kind. Usually, in movies starring clowns have interesting topics and stream. They are not a sign of "fun" and "happines". On the contrary, they are the indicators of the emotions of horror and dread. They have psychological problems - this is what scriptwriters want to do: conflict among emotions. As an example, Joker is the most known clown character and also, the movie "It" of Stephen King supports my argument. However, I've never seen before such a love triangle that includes two "sick" clowns. I know that clowns usually kill people but this "sad clown" and "happy clown" conflict was created in an interesting atmosphere with enough support of filming details. That's another point that I loved about this movie, the usage of camera and lighting were in harmony with the situation. I totally recommend this movie as a Spanish learner and a Spanish movie lover.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: The Last Circus

Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
7 April 2012

A bizarre love triangle set against the historical backdrop of Spain from the 30s to the 70s, with fantastical elements thrown in for good measure, complete with grotesque images that firmly puts this amongst cult favourites demanding an acquired taste. It won writer-director Alex de la Iglesia a Silver Lion at the 2010 Venice Film Festival, and so I'm quite surprised it actually did make it to our shores some two years later given a subject material that is steeped in Spanish history with its allegories, without which it may just appear to be a violently dark film.

It begins in 1937 where a laughing clown is in the process of entertaining children, but for the Spanish Republican militia to rudely interrupt the circus act to conscript every able bodied man to fight off the insurgent Loyalist forces. The clown is given a machete and he proceeds to really hack off countless of adversary soldiers, before being put down, jailed and soon gets sent to work on the Valle de los Caidos. He leaves his son Javier with advice to be the sad clown because Javier had lost his childhood with the war, and we fast forward to the 70s where the now grown up Javier (Carols Areces) finally heeds his dad's advice and got a job as a sad clown, playing opposite the laughing clown Sergio (Antonio de la Torre), a sadist behind the makeup, but so popular that he's single-handedly responsible for the circus' financial viability.

Of all people, Javier has to fall in love with Sergio's wife, the acrobat Natalia (Carolina Bang), who herself is quite the cock-tease for stringing Javier along, who personifies the type of girl who just cannot pull herself away from the bad boy. Javier insists that she leaves Sergio during one of their secret outings at night, and soon the entire narrative blows apart when Sergio catches them together, and beats the living daylights out of both. Here's where everything becomes a little bizarre, with Javier seeking revenge and almost killing Sergio, if not for their fellow circus troupe members sending him for emergency surgery at the nearest vet, causing disfiguring and in essence, puts his inner, ugly personality on the outside for all and sundry. As for Javier, he hides out in a cave stark naked, feeding on animals who drop in, before being caught by a one-time enemy, humiliated, and in a dream sequence, becomes the violent, angel of death strapped with every conceivable gun, going on a rampage to get his lady love back.

While the narrative may be strangely held together by plots that don't really connect, with disparate scenes and sequence of events, it is the imagery that gets put on screen that becomes somewhat magnetic to watch, keeping one glued to how everything would turn out, especially since violence has now entered the picture. Alex de la Iglesia challenges you to keep watching even as he presents some of the vividly horrific scenes of self-mutilation as Javier literally turns into the sad clown, and a gun toting one at that, driven to madness just for the unattainable love of a woman who repeatedly continues to spurn this one time gentle giant of a man, for a drunken who can satisfy her fetish for violent sex. de la Iglesia never shied away from fusing history into his plot, with old newsreel interruptions to point out specific historical milestones that ties in with the story he wants to tell, but the best parts as the film wore on was the battle between the two clowns, with a final shot that's really quite poignant as they become truly who they are, with make pretense in an arena turning into actual, permanent emotions.

If you're up for a film that can easily be a staple in fantastic film festivals, then The Last Circus will be right up your alley. Otherwise the narrative may border a little on the unbelievably absurd, coincidental, and may not actually make much sense, and easily become B-grade exploitative fare if not for its love triangle that connects the protagonist together, and the strong statements Alex de la Iglesia has depicting the tumultuous, violent history of the country.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's a mad world

Author: kosmasp
23 March 2012

Carolina Bang (or in this case her character) is a woman you can understand getting crazy about. But of course that is not all, that is hidden in this movie. Some story threads may only be comprehensible to those who have studied Spanish history (especially the beginning is really out there). I couldn't tell, because it seems detached from the rest of the movie.

But as the German title of the movie suggests (Mad Circus), there is this other world, where our main characters live at. And while we have a protagonist, you will find it very difficult to describe him as a hero for many reasons. Alex de la Iglesias has done quite a lot of movies and many of them are controversial. And it's not different with this one. It is completely crazy at times (or mostly?) and seems to lose its narrative through it all. But if you stick with it, you'll get one seriously OTT finale ...

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