Vibrant colors, brilliant visuals, and astounding performances from Hayek, Molina, and everyone on screen.
We follow the life of a prettier version of Frida Kahlo, from her teen years to her final days.
As a Mexican I have to admit that while I don't generally like Kahlo´s work as the majority of it is monotonous self-portraits (but when she goes for surrealism she shines gorgeously), but I have always find her story fascinating and sad, so there was plenty of source material for a drama and this biopic takes advantage of most of her tragic life. "Frida" is well made biopic that offers some interesting visuals, most of the acting is extremely solid with the best being Salma Hayek in her best performance to date (although it isn't that impressive either) and always fun to watch Alfred Molina, it uses the Mexican environment wisely, Molina and Hayek had pretty good chemistry, the corridos of the soundtrack are actually quite enjoyable to my surprise, the screenplay is straightforward and narrates numerous moments of this tragic life (I am extremely glad that they didn't leave out her political agenda), and it has some actually funny segments. With all the good of the film being said, let's address the issues of this biopic. Julie Taymor´s direction is extremely unbalanced, at times it is generic and manages to subtlety mimic Kahlo´s paintings in certain shots but then it becomes pretentious and extremely heavy handed; it follows most of the "Mexican clichés" (which I already mention in my review of "The Book of Life"), the pacing is inconsistent as it starts with this rushed vibe but by the second half it slow things out, some important moments of Frida´s life are briefly explored while others are stretched needlessly, Hayek doesn't exactly looks like Kahlo (I get that they are trying to make her prettier-just because she has one eyebrow that doesn't make her as ugly- but that contradicts the whole message of the film), and I hate the fact that Spanish is the native language of most of the cast and the film is about a Mexican artist set in Mexico, so why they speak that dreadful "Spanglish"?
"Frida" is an uneven biopic that has its moments but also has its flaws. I appreciate the fact they told a lot of Kahlo´s story thus making it an educational experience, but it doesn't has a lot to offer.