El (This Strange Passion) (Torments) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

El (This Strange Passion) (Torments) Reviews

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½ January 18, 2015
Apasionante relato sobre los celos y los fetiches de Luis Buñuel.
½ February 1, 2014
Over-the-top acting by Arturo de Cordova distracts from this lesser Bunuel melodrama.
October 13, 2013
Un estudio interesante e inteligente sobre la paranoia y los celos, con el clásico humor negro de Buñuel. "Él" tiene una narrativa firme y un final que, aunque absurdo, rompe con el tono del resto de la película y deja un contraste palpable y genial.
½ June 18, 2013
This is by far the best Buñuel film I've seen. It's quite possibly the best film I've ever seen about amorous jealousy/insecurity.

There is a great deal of character depth. Emotions are meticulously examined. The characters are anything but one-dimensional. It is exceedingly Hitchcockian. And just as effective! (I dare even say, Shakespearean.) The film serves as a peering study into the human psyche. Particularly issues of paranoia, trust, self-absorption, (lack of) communication, & madness. The strange irony of someone who wanted something so badly, but didn't know how to hold onto it. Rather, who held on so tightly, that he ended up suffocating it. It would seem to say that love has vastly different effects on different people, in ways that are difficult to imagine. Pacing was incredibly effective in building suspense & holding interest, with just the right hint of surrealism. The acting certainly contributed.

I loved how the movie came full circle, at the end.
In the beginning, he gets into a taxi to follow Gloria because of desire. In the end, he gets into a taxi to follow her, in order to inflict dominance & control. And he goes to 'confront' her in the same place that he met her. In church. Impressive storytelling. My one issue is that I wish there was a little more background info regarding his properties lawsuit, which is never fully explained.

I imagine that some of Buñuel's enthusiasts are not as keen on this film for the same reason that I dislike his better known works. He appeals to a certain kind of person. And that person is the very opposite of my kind. So this film -- being somewhat of a departure from his usual, predictable, distasteful iconoclasm -- is welcome to me. And perhaps bad news for those who like his crappy movies. I wish he made more like it. Because he did it well.

(The Flixster review is stupid, in that he is not "lying" to himself that he is cured & partaking in "empty homilies." Especially when we see other practitioners in the film who are completely satisfied in their ecclesiological participation. No, this interpretation is quite simply wrong, & rather callow. The film says nothing of this, & is pure conjecture on the part of those who probably love Bunuel's typical iconoclasm, & are scrounging to be sated here, somehow. But rather, he is taking steps, as can be seen in his lengthy sabbatical, in order to help his struggle, which is still very much present. No one denies that certain illnesses can be completely cured. But if one actually pays attention to the dialogue in the movie, it is pointed out that he has become a picture of humility, which is a much different picture than was left when he was last detained. The reviewer is highly ignorant & blatantly prejudiced at the expense of truth. He wants a certain movie, in order to feed his own bigotries. He should look elsewhere in Bunuel's filmography. There is plenty to sate him there. This film isn't one. The Catholic portrayal in most, if not all, instances is fairly neutral to positive. El is certainly not cured. But he is better than he was. I don't recall anyone claiming that devotion meant that one was cured of great pain. The most devoted are often those struggling with the greatest suffering. That's quite well documented & far more obvious than the reviewer seems to realize. He most certainly is not 'cured' of his pain, but his continuing struggle & his painstaking attempt to end it is what makes the conclusion of this film so compelling.)

*Note: I wrote this before I had seen 'Nazarin,' which I now believe to be Buñuel's magnum opus.
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2013
Well, what an intriguing conclusion! Why on Earth would Buñuel finish off the overbearing attitude of your typical macho bastard in the way he decided too (notice my spoiler-free intentions). Is he being sarcastic? We know his opinions on such matters.

Sorry, but had to speak my mind. I still see it as a puzzle.

Super Reviewer
½ February 21, 2013
one of the best bunuels i have seen. what a shame these mexican films are so overlooked in favor of his later french period. this one would do hitchcock proud and indeed he seems to have 'borrowed' a certain scene for the famous vertigo finale. much of the film would be funny if it wasn't so damn true to life
December 7, 2012
En esta película, Luis Buñuel retrata con precisión una de las emociones más destructivas del ser humano.
November 17, 2012
A man's descent into insanity due to his jealously and paranoia with his wife and her ex lover.
½ July 15, 2012
Bunuel tackles his favorite topics; the Church and hypocrisy, the ridiculous norms of the bourgeoisie, and sexual repression (there's even a good foot washing/kissing scene that may combine all three). Here, Don Francisco, a righteous landowner (seeking even more land), becomes possessed by love at first sight, pursues his target relentlessly, wins her, and then gradually descends into jealous madness, the madness of a righteous landowner who fears losing his "property". Bunuel ramps up the surrealistic flavors by shooting the final part of the film from his protagonists viewpoint, until of course he is sequestered away (when rumor has it, he is played by Bunuel himself in a disguised cameo). As many critics rated this higher than I did, I am sure it would reward repeated viewings, just to spot all the slings and arrows.
½ March 17, 2012
"Él" es una gran obra por parte de Buñuel, por todo el ámbito psicológico que conlleva detrás del personaje. Francisco es dotado de una gran personalidad, compleja y dura, y se muestra a lo largo de la película. Una gran película que roza entre la hilaridad y el thriller. Sin duda alguna es una gran obra, por todo el trabajo que hay detrás. La verdad es que no sabría hacer un análisis más complejo de una película que fue hecha hace ya 60 años, pero el argumento, el guión y todo el trabajo argumental que hay detrás de él es un grandísimo trabajo que precede a su difunto director. Sin duda alguna, una gran obra.
½ October 29, 2011
Definitivamente a Força está com o mestre Buñuel. :-D
July 12, 2011
One of the better Bunuel films in his Mexico years.
Super Reviewer
July 10, 2011
The usual Buñuel flick, enough feet fap material for a full fetish party, his usual attacks to the high class and the catholic church. Arturo de Cordova in extra ham mode, with the crazy eyes and everything going on. I felt the ending was not as strong as the rest of the movie, thus why i don't rate this higher.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2011
Such a wonderfully wicked film, with a fantastic performance by Arturo de Córdova as one of the most detestable characters you'll ever see. Is it just me, or is the female lead a ringer for Elizabeth Perkins?
May 17, 2010
Directed by Luis Buñuel
Starring Arturo de Cordova, Delia Garces, Aurora Walker, Carlos Martinez Baena, Manuel Donde

Arturo de Cordova steals every scene as the rich husband whose jealousy turns from normalcy to irrationality to hatred. It?s an operatic study of internal conflicts with a lashing situated in a troubled household. But the final solution is unexpectedly low beat after that semi ?Lost Weekend? trail of madness.
Best Scene: Don Francisco gets the laughing treatment inside the church.
May 17, 2010
Although I didn't particularly like the woman who played De Cordova's co-star at all, I really enjoyed watching this movie, the story is interesting and very realistic, Arturo De Cordova's character is trully insane, Bunuel typical surrealistic resources are excellent and everything works.
½ May 17, 2010
[b]Out of the Past[/b] is a well done noir movie which disappointed me. The movie itself is absorving enough to keep you entertained, and the plot gets more complex of what it might seem, but I wasn't at all much interested, specially on the second half. I suppose it can be defined as the quintessential film noir, but I felt like it was a little cold and unsuccessful at times (and not just the end, which I found to be dull and anticlimatic). However, the cinematography is excellent, and Robert Mitchum is really perfect in his role; he delivers the best dialogue. Jane Greer is alright yet Kirk Douglas is rather wasted. I'd recommend it, even if it is a bit overhyped.

[b]Tristana [/b]is an adaptation of the known Benito Pérez Galdós novel of the same name. I enjoyed the book so I was looking foward to what Buñuel would do with the material. I must admit the casting is excellent. Fernando Rey is pitch perfect as the egocentric and aging Don Lope, Catherine Deneuve is as addecuate as poor Tristana. But the film goes wrong in many ways. Not only the adaptation is mediocre (too many changes, including a change of time and place), but the film itself isn't very engaging. The dream sequences and even an amputation are there, and the acting cannot be criticized, but it is slow and tedious at times, too theatrical at others. Lots of sobriety and not much reward.

[b]Él [/b](and not "El", as some name it), which literally means "Him", has become my new favourite film by Buñuel (replacing [i]Los Olvidados[/i]). It's a very fine movie which the director made during his mexican period. A harrowing, convincing and genuine take on a man's obsession. Arturo de Cordova is insanely brilliant as Francisco, a religious man who goes mad for a young woman, Gloria., whom he soon marries The man's passion towards his wife ends up reaching tragic and disturbing heights. It somehow reminded me of [i]Tristana [/i](an older man obsessed with a younger woman), but this here is much more intense and captivating. A total must.
½ February 16, 2010
Un film de Bunuel à la narration assez classique sur la tyrannie de la jalousie et l'enfer de la condition de femme au foyer. Excellent et peu connu. A Voir.
February 11, 2010
HE is paranoid...HE a pathologically jealous husband...
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