Bernal is well supported with an intense performance from Fele Martinez (below) as his supposedly long lost schoolboy friend, now a famed film director from whom "Angel" wants work.The plot is impressively more complex than we are initially led to believe and darkens to great effect as the story that we have believed to be true is exposed as only a half-truth. But which half?
Almodovar uses the film-within-a-film dramatic device to absorbing effect, leading the audience through emotional hinterlands and into humorous escapades with equal ease as villain becomes victim and vice-versa.If I were to try and find fault, the final sequences could lose ten minutes or so - by that time we all know what's going to happen and it's being increasingly telegraphed, so our heroic director-writer should probably have had a tad more quality control and a sharper pair of scissors in the editing suite.
That's a minor whinge, though, this film is totally absorbing, immaculately acted and addresses some serious issues with a wry smile and a distinctly sideways look. So - on to the film club scale, although truthfully I'm struggling to remember much of the post-film discussion on the grounds that rather than concentrate on the film's impact straight away, we spent a very pleasant time catching up with our later arrivals Yvonne and Frankenkeith.
However: Shazzerooneypoos made not a single wuffling noise and, being a known Almodovar fan enjoyed this outing into his territory; Dong didn't take any fag breaks, but did outdo Slocombe in the pithy quote stakes describing the whole thing a "an everyday tale of continental buggery" - not really Dong's cup of Earl Grey, this one; Slocombe did enjoy it and appreciated Almodovar's use of colour and scene; Mrs The Millbrooker and I were, once again, in harmony in our opinions about this one.
As for a recommendation - if you don't find the idea of gay sex difficult to contend with, there's everything to like about this film and I recommend it highly. A great tale, well told, and beautifully realised.
Almodovar working at his best.