First of all, it is accurate to point that Julieta is a violent story. But it is not the usual and predictable pathological violence that we are used to, nor a voluptuous show that pretends to confront us with our hypocrisy. It is a portray of silence, about everyone's fear of adulthood, in a relative hysterical way. And that is exactly what one could identify at first in this story: a variation of the traditional humid and effervescent Spanish or Latin-American melodrama. It seems to be an opportunity for an adult consideration, dry and out of proportion.
I belong to that audience which was educated, by the hand of the director, in the intensity of the stories made for women during the 90s and the last decade. We all were ladies in the corner of the cinema, accomplices of the tragedies that happened between high heels, pearls and sniffs of cocaine. Always intense, when everyone thought it was endless. But the impossible occurred and we got tired of Almodovar. With his last film I'm so excited the yawns appeared. We saw a tired and paranoiac Pedro, making those desperate attempts for recovering his own vitality. I didn't want to be part of the show, the spectacle of watching him, turned into a sad jester. I decided not to watch. The rumors and comments of my friends about the movie confirmed my choice to preserve his energy and delirium as a temple one could visit after lots of time or, maybe, never more.
I decided to keep a distance from him. When I pass through the pirate stands in the center of Bogotá, I recognize immediately the covers of his old movies, discolored by the sunlight and time. I never thought on recognize them, but, on the contrary, on reject them and turn my look, as soon as a I can, from them. It happened exactly the same with the piles of books of García Márquez, Cortazar and other rotten icons that were exhibited over the spread-out beanbags all over the seventh and sixteenth streets of my city. His films were a buried topic. After some days of no chatting, one of my best friends called me in order to invite me to a film. I was completely unprepared, even thoughtful about how much was about to be discussed about our recent lives. I got late, as always. Fortunately, she offered to buy a sandwich for me, because the rush did not give me enough time to take a proper lunch. We laughed about the stupid trailers and, suddenly, I realized that we were about to watch the new Almodovar film.
Emma Suárez is the face of a content violence, of a particular silence. Her wasted gestures, from time to time, are confronted to a famous Lucian Freud's portray that predicts something, like every wink from Almodovar does. Immediately, I remembered a review published in The Guardian about the exhibition Lucian Freud Portraits in the National Gallery, London, in which the journalist was aware of the disappearance of the limits of the forms in his late paintings. Then I understood that there was something out of control on what was pointed on Julieta, but that there was something of "late work" in Pedro's film as well. During the whole movie, I breathed a mature air which came from a story that took me to the limits of pain, feminity, silence and language. Silence was the original name of the movie, until it was known that Martin Scorsese's new film was planned to have exactly the same name. However, Julieta is not an invention, but a reference to three Alice Munro's short stories, which were gathered in one trilogy.
Nevertheless, beyond how appropriate and box-office earner for a film based on a Nobel Prize story could be, there is a meeting point that the spectator could feel honest in-between these two languages. Nobody, even during the interviews, refers to the movie as an adaptation. It is an essay, a night meditation, about the stories of Munro. However, it is not in this point where the new vitality of the director lies, but in the exercise of interpreting. ¿Who would have thought on Pedro Almodovar talking about dry dramas, without any tears and glow, ten years before? This work is achieved by the acting of Adriana Ugarte but, specially, of Emma Suárez.
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