Tuesday, 15 September 2009

[238] High Heels / Tacones Lejanos (1991) DVD Review

Another DVD review, this time at Screenjabber.

Pedro Almodóvar's 1991 romp High Heels (Tacones Lejanos) takes in two of his pet obsessions, that of femininity and the relationships between women. Rebeca, a young newsreader, is on edge as her mother, Becky del Páramo, a famous actress and singer, comes to visit for the first time in years. Tension and awkwardness occur, especially as Rebeca has married Manuel, her mother's old lover, and is also enjoying a close friendship with Letal, a transvestite who performs in a stage show impersonating Becky.

Unfortunately, what seems to start as a dizzying, non-traditional character piece, with elliptical storytelling, enlightening (if oblique) flashbacks and plenty of well-managed conflict, soon gets bogged down in a heavy-handed murder-mystery plot - involving long sequences of pure exposition and twists-a-dozen. This development stifles both the characters and the performances (mostly pleasant, especially Victoria Abril as Rebeca and Miguel Bosé as Letal), as the centre of gravity shifts towards enacting a farcical melodrama-meets-crime narrative.

Read the full article here.

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