Director: Pedro Almodovar
review by Mike Philbin
Adapted from the Gold Dagger Award winning Ruth Rendell novel of the same
name, this is Pedro Almodovar at his directorial best. Using the structure
but twisting the characters and their motivation with unmatchable, sexy,
dramatic Spanish flare.
Recently un-virgined Victor gets caught up in a shootout and after the
accidental wounding of a cop serves six years in jail. On his escape he vows
sexual vengeance against the woman who betrayed him.
The narrative, written in reverse like all standard murder mysteries,
reveals the culprits at each stage of this cleverly woven story. You sort of
forget that you are being lead along by the nose like a bull to the
Corridas. You don't feel the literal manipulation because the cinematic
manipulation is even more enthralling. The movie is shot the way a man may
look at a lover and some of the angles are pure poetry; a sex scene
involving the paralysed cop's wife pans up her shins and concentrates on the
important part of the act, her curling toes. Showing maybe what the husband
cannot acheive by this most allegorical of imagery, the simple moving of his
toes. Live Flesh is like this from start to finish, multilayered in a mostly
humourous, very darkly humourous, way.
Not wanting to give away too much of the story, there is one thing you must
know. Victor may have his fingers in all the pies but he is not as guilty as
those around him, an angel accused by the devil himself.
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