Emilio, a shy, not too brilliant pupil at a humble local secondary school, has always harbored a secret love for Natalia, the cutest, brightest girl in the class. On the last day of the ... See full summary »
Fernando González Molina
The film takes place in 1978 in Málaga (Spain), and depicts the life of teenager Miguelito Dávila (Alberto Amarilla), who, after suffering from kidney disease and spending some time at the hospital, has learned such classic poetry as Dante's Divine Comedy and dreams of leaving his job at a hardware store and pursuing his dream of becoming a poet. One summer, he hangs out with his childhood friends Babirusa (Raúl Arévalo), Paco Frontón (Félix Gómez) and Moratalla (Mario Casas), until he meets a girl called Luli (María Ruiz) at the swimming pool, and the two start dating. Luli would love to become a professional dancer, and is best friends with "La cuerpo" (Marta Nieto), who fancies Miguelito's posh friend Paco. The two couples spend time together swimming, and gradually they experiment with other distractions. Miguelito meets later an older teacher (Victoria Abril), who is interested in his talent, and begins an affair with her around the same time that Cardona (Antonio Garrido), an ...
Óscar Faura, the second unit director of photography, had the main mission of shooting with freedom whatever he thought it was visually interesting, and not to worry about coverage, because the cinematographer Xavi Giménez was doing that. Faura carried an ear piece through which Banderas would told him to catch this and that. See more »
I am an avid film fan and when I saw this DVD I thought "Great. Banderas, director, loved Crazy in Alabama, should be good." Wrong.
I did stick it out to the end in some sort of masochistic exercise. The film rambles endlessly. And that combined with the almost unintelligible "acento Malagueño" plus all the gratuitous adolescent sex made it difficult for me for me to like.
I didn't get any kind of message and neither did the other three people watching it with me.
I then watched the interview with Banderas and my take is that he read the novel, loved it and decided to make a movie. He has the international clout to get incredible financial backing (the backing credits at the start read like a phone book) and made the huge mistake, in my opinion, of having the author do the screenplay. I think a third person could have stood back and taken a better, or at least cohesive, view of the content.
On the positive side, I thought the photography was sensational and the ambiance of Spain under Franco was pretty good. I am not too sure those kids could have gotten away with all the free-wheeling sex during that period of Spain's history but I have never lived in Malaga.
My end comment would be "don't bother".
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