Archive for the ‘Skin I Live In; The’ Category

The Skin I Live In – review

The Skin I Live In

Oh Pedro Almodovar how I love to hate you, hate to love you, am completely put off and confused by you, but sometimes amazed and enthralled by you.  There are many directors that I have a love/hate relationship with, and Almodovar is one of them. 

The Skin I Live In sees Almodovar back together again with one of his first actors, Antonio Banderas.  The two haven’t worked together amazingly in over 20 years.  Banderas plays scientist Robert Ledgard, who has discovered a way to make a synthetic skin that can not burn.  He tells the scientific community that he has only tested the procedure of grafting the skin on to mice, but the truth is that he has already perfected it on humans.

His text subject is a beautiful woman Vera.  She is kept locked in a room and monitored 24/7.  In the first half of the film we get to know Vera and the good Dr. along with his housekeeper.  We don’t learn a lot in the beginning of the film.  It’s all set up for the second half of the film, where we learn the true nature of Dr. Ledgards experiment, and who Vera really is.

I will say this about Almodovar, his films are like no other directors.  They come from a world of complete implausibility, but we are made tho think we are watching something that exists in the realm of possibility.  The reality of our world.  The Skin I Live In is terrifying at times, and operates like a horror film.  There is the Frankenstein theme that runs through it, and it mixes this with the morbid life of Carl Tanzler (Wiki-link), a real life Dr. Frankenstein.  Throw a little Nip/Tuck in there as well and you have a pretty bizarre film.  Nothing new for Almodovar.

The film has all the hallmarks you’d expect to see from an Almodovar film.  The problem is it feels like a watered down version of one of his films.   It’s as if Almodovar is “attempting” to make an Almodovar film.  It feels forced at times.  It’s definitely not his best effort, but may be one of his most absurd efforts.  If you like his films, you’ll probably like this one.  You definitely won’t be blown away by it though.

Grade:  B-