The protagonist of "Pain and Glory" was at the decline of his career. The man involuntarily looks back into the past, and a stream of vivid memories falls upon him. He recalls such moments from his youth as tender feelings for his mother, love and separation, the search for happiness and success. All this leads the master of cinema to important thoughts about life and art, because this is the most important thing for him.Written by
After having seen this film, I overheard the conversation of the couple next to me while the end credits rolled over the screen. 'So beautiful! And so much red!'. It was exactly what I was thinking. Red is the colour of this film. The scenes without anything red in it, are sparse.
The abundance of the colour red proves how meticulously Pedro Almodovar has taken care of every small detail in this film. The result is a feast for the eyes. But the film is not only very stylish, it is also very emotional - as is often the case in Almodovar's work.
The story is about a film director looking back on his work and his life, in which pain and glory each play a part. His life is miserable, his body is in pain and his career seems to be in decline. But when a film museum asks him to discuss a film he made 30 years ago, he learns to see things in a different perspective. He resolves a bitter conflict, meets a long lost former lover and reflects on the death of his mother. The themes are tied together by a clever script, with long flashbacks.
It's interesting to know to what extend this story was inspired by Aldomovar's own life and career. When an acclaimed film maker makes a film about an acclaimed film maker, this is an inevitable question. The imaginary masterpiece from 30 years ago, with a poster showing a tongue sensually licking the lips, could very well have been one of Almodovar's own exuberant movies from his early period.
Some typical Almodovar-themes are present in this film, like the mother-son relation, and the catholic faith. Also, the two leads, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, are present in the casts of several of his films. In every aspect, this is a quintessential Almodovar movie.
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