Broken Embraces Reviews
Looking forward to watching Volver...
It is hyper-sexual, highly-stylized, and has melodrama oozing out of every pore. The production is regal and elegant, with brilliant colors bursting on screen while characters do their best to control the mess that their elicit passions have made.
While it may not carry the same weight as Talk to Her or All About My Mother, it is an entertaining story told richly by one of the world's premiere filmmakers.
Typical of Almodovar, this film features lush scenery, colorfully disparate characters, and Penelope Cruz giving a very good performance. It is also superbly structured; the mystery isn't revealed until the second act, and the reveal is natural, not contrived, organic.
I would have liked to have seen the woman who opens the film fit somewhere in the flashback. Also, I don't think the film that is central to the past action reveals much about the characters, and it certainly shouldn't have been used as the climax.
But these are minor issues in an otherwise very strong drama. Overall, this is the best Almodovar film I've seen, and after this film, in which all the stylistic signatures I've seen in his other work come together, I can see why he is an acclaimed director.
This is a teasing fantasy about cinema, romance, possibility, comedy, tragedy and charm. Penelope Cruz seesaws between the styles of Audrey Hepburn and Tippi Hedren, but has gained a peppery screen personality of her own, which makes her more than just an old movie ghost, while Lluis Homar is restrained, complicated and potentially a breakout character actor superstar.
Lluis Homar plays blind writer 'Harry Caine' who, while being supported with his daily duties, agrees to help a young man with his idea for a book. In the process of helping him, he is forced to look back at his own life. Revealing that 14 years ago, he was in fact, renowned film director 'Mateo Blanco', who shared a passionate relationship with his leading actress 'Lena' (Cruz) that put both their lives in danger, and lead to tragedy and Harry's blindness.
Almodovar returns with his muse, Penelope Cruz and his usual convoluted story arches as well as his eye for beautiful imagery. As ever, his direction is methodical and visually splendid and draws another fine performance from Cruz - who really seems to raise her game when working with him. It's Lluis Homar who impresses most though. At just over two hours, it demands a level of commitment but, as ever, it's rewarding. Teasingly, releasing pieces of the story bit by bit and delivering his usual dramatic revelations with ease.
It's by no means his best but it's another fine addition to Almodovar's catalogue of high quality film making.
It's basically a love story executed in a thriller form with a few twists & turns thrown in, which unfortunately are quite predictable. While the rest of the cast was appropriate, Penelope Cruz was a big turn off for me here. I can't understand why this bamboo stick is still an actress. She neither looks attractive nor is she a gifted/talented actress. I find her acting to be mediocre at best. (To each, his own, anyway.) Despite of all this, I found the movie quite watchable. Though it was predictable, I liked the way it maintained the mystic element that kept me hooked to it. The background music is also noteworthy. It was quite in sync with the proceedings & got even better during tense moments. 6.5/10.