When it appears as though the end is in sight, the pilots, flight crew, and passengers of a plane heading to Mexico City look to forget the anguish of the moment and face the greatest danger, which we carry within ourselves.
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A technical failure has endangered the lives of the people on board Peninsula Flight 2549. The pilots are striving, along with their colleagues in the Control Center, to find a solution. The flight attendants and the chief steward are atypical, baroque characters who, in the face of danger, try to forget their own personal problems and devote themselves body and soul to the task of making the flight as enjoyable as possible for the passengers, while they wait for a solution. Life in the clouds is as complicated as it is at ground level, and for the same reasons, which could be summarized in two: sex and death. Written by
There are many references to Pedro Almodóvar's universe throughout the film. The name of the plane is Chavela Blanca, in clear reference to Pedro's beloved singer and friend Chavela Vargas and to another of his most cherished friends, the late Blanca Sánchez. The air company Peninsula is shortened in the plane top wing as Pe, Penélope Cruz's renowned nickname. See more »
The pilots state that one of the landing gear can't retract. The landing gear indicator - shown in excellent close-up - has three green lights and one red - this means three gear are down and fully locked and one is retracted. A proper combination would be three red and one flickering light. See more »
The words surreal, strange, fantastical and bizarre have been associated with Pedro Almodovar's cinema along with longing, fragility, fluidity of gender, and the search for one's individual sexuality in a world filled with variations from the "norm." His 2011 movie THE SKIN I LIVE IN encompassed all those terms and I for one was deeply touched by that exceptionally idiosyncratic film. On the other hand, I'M SO EXCITED is Almodovar on his tiptoes LIGHT and FROTHY. I do not deny that the movie made me laugh out loud, but it never made me ache with confusion and pain. It never touched me beneath the skin I live in.
The bouncy, brightly colored, whimsical, animated opening credits put a smile on the audiences' faces, setting the mood for the craziness that was to come. The movie bolts onto the screen with cameos by Airline workers, Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, two of the finest actors in Almodovar's repertory. But their cameos are basically a "schtick" - an eccentric bit - with no relation to the rest of the movie, except as a sign that we are about to be launched on a wild ride.
We meet the flight attendants and passengers of Peninsula 2549 an Airline like no other - bound from Spain to Mexico, and discover early on that there is trouble with the plane's landing gear which puts everyone at dire risk as the plane circles round and round looking for a place to land. How the crew and passengers deal with the end-of-life/ tying-up-loose- ends business goes to the heart of this comic allegory. Life goes on in the midst of probable death so everyone - actually everyone who is not in Economy Class (they are drugged and asleep) - lets loose and are plied with drinks, drugs and engage in sex a feast of debauchery including gay and straight sex, anonymous and public couplings. We are privy to personal histories, infidelities, lies and scandals humanity with all its human failings flung out like baggage for all to see and hear.
Three of the Flight attendants who are all gay, function as a Greek Chorus commenting on the action, and entertaining the travelers with a wonderfully kinky and freaky rendition of the Pointer Sisters song "I Am So Excited." These flamboyant stewards are the focus of the movie their struggles with morality, philosophical musings, religion, and libidinal urges make for a tender, extravagant burlesque. There is also a Cassandra-like character a predictor of future doom that nobody wants to hear, because the underlying truths make everyone uncomfortable.
I love that Pedro Almodovar works on films that are unpredictable. He experiments with all kinds of genres some are secret and intimate and others are open and "cosmic". I admire that he does what he wants and each movie is a challenge. Immediately after the movie ended, I felt that this comedy was both hilarious and often too obviously "over the top." On further reflection, I realized that what I had perceived as superficiality was a strongly structured jab at our human vulnerabilities delivered with jest and generosity all the better to grasp and hold you.
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