Almodovar gave some added controversy here, by making a rape scene into a bit of a comedy moment, I would be interested to see what people?s comments are and how many will feel it reached over the controversial line?
Kika is an effervescent makeup artist who pretties up the dead for funerals. She is summoned to work on the recently departed Ramon ("He'll turn green soon...get rid of the pallor before we take him to the morgue") but, surprise! He's merely having a cataleptic seizure. After he revives, he and Kika begin living together. But she's also having a casual affair with his stepfather Nicholas. Who is suspected of killing Ramon's mother years ago, even though her death was ruled a suicide. Nicholas is also pursued by Andrea, a scar-faced tabloid reporter who dresses like a dominatrix and wears a ridiculous helmet rigged with a TV camera. To complicate matters, she is his ex-girlfriend and also Ramon's ex-psychologist. Meanwhile, Kika and Ramon have a hatchet-faced maid whose brother is a former porn actor newly escaped from jail.
Not even Almodovar can give this mess a coherent dramatic shape, though he gives himself a break by writing the maid and her brother out of the story early (but not before using the latter for what could be the funniest rape scene in film history). Veronica Forque and Victoria Abril offer gutsy, uninhibited performances as the brazen Kika and Andrea, and Peter Coyote (Nicholas) gives Americans a familiar face to follow.
(In Spanish with English subtitles)
DRAMA/ COMEDY/ MYSTERY
The name "Kika" is a name of a kooky female hair dresser who seems to get in the middle of some crazy situations such as murder suicide, book writings, media exposures, peepings and cover ups! As in most of director Pedro Aldomovar films, I don't find them to be funny, even though some are intended to be comedies, but what stand out the most are the twists and turns as well as the most bizarre of situations that don't happen to our everyday lives but do happen here and it works, in this case as well as most othersof Aldomovar films things begin to unravel until after the first hour, and start to make sense! This is no soap opera and viewers should also expect to see the most strangest and the most oddest circumstances that wouldn't happen to most normal citizens!
3 out of 4
Kika (Veronica Forque) is a cosmetologist who is invited by American author Nicholas (Peter Coyote) to apply make-up to the dead body of his step-son, Ramon. Ramon wakes up while this is happening and Kika immediately jumps into a relationship with him ? while also bedding Nicholas on the side. Meanwhile, Andrea (Victoria Abril) is the host of a TV show that captures live killings, conducts interviews with relations of murder victims, and other morbid subject matter. She begins following Nicholas around (wearing a ridiculous camera-helmet) as she suspects he may be a murderer, having killed Ramon's mother among other women. Throw into this a supporting cast of incestous siblings - one a lesbian, one a rapist porn-star ? and you have the typical Almodoverian formula.
The film starts off intriguingly. The dynamic between Nicholas and Ramon is a cauldron of repressed emotions, as both characters seem to respectfully resent each other. However, the titular character Kika is the weakest Almodovar protagonist I've seen; she's squeaky, irritating, and the only thing that gives her any solidity is her simplicity. While Almodovar intended this to an extent, using her as a counterpoint to all the perverts and psychopaths that populate the film, she simply lacks the magnetic presence of other Almodovar heroines.
Almodovar's themes of voyeurism and death-obsession are present in Kika, but they fail to truly pervade the film. Ramon's camera-obsession doesn't do justice to the killer in Peeping Tom, which Kika references. Likewise, Nicholas' fascination with killing without consequence doesn't come across as the all-consuming impulse that the viewer would expect Almodovar to convey (see Matador for a better exploration of death and desire). In fact, the most driven and perverse character in the film is Andrea, who's willing to do literally anything to ensure the success of her TV show.
Kika is an empty shell of an Almodovar film. The eye for colour and imaginative framing is there, the storyline is there, but it just isn't filled with any of the usual sexy, perverse substance. Almodovar's always been good at the comical, but here he takes it a step too far which trivialises his fascination with provocative themes. The rape scene best sums this up, as it goes from being darkly comical, to downright banal after an exhausting 10 minutes.
For me, seeing Almodovar go wrong just this once puts into perspective the genius at work in most of his other films. That being said, Kika showcases very little of what Almodovar has to offer as a filmmaker and shouldn't be put forward to the uninitiated as an example of his works.
Unfortunately, the rest of the movie (especially the way over the top ending) couldn't keep up with that scene.