I really enjoyed "Los Abrazos Rotos" but also felt that the story didn't exactly hit the mark, so to speak. That's because although there was an awful lot to like, I had a hard time relating to or caring about the characters. This may not bother some, but most viewers, I suspect, want to have characters they can like--and it was hard to really like the main characters in the film. Still, with this problem, you have to admit that everything else is exceptional--with some wonderful acting and direction--and a story idea that is, thankfully, quite different.
The film is odd in that it bounced about--between 1994 and 2008. The story begins with a blind writer/director and you wonder how he came to this state. Only slowly do you learn how he was blinded--and I liked the way this mystery was revealed in a completely unhurried manner.
Back in the 1990s, Penelope Cruz was in dire financial straits. Her father was dying from stomach cancer and the family needed money to get the best treatment. Her boss, however, is an immensely powerful and wealthy man and he agrees to help her. However, it seems to be at a cost--she becomes his mistress. By 1994, they've been together for two years and he's obsessed with her--begging her to marry him. However, she doesn't love him and has designs on becoming an actress. When her big break comes and she lands a huge part, he finances the picture and has every move she makes recorded by his son--who is, supposedly, filming a documentary about the film. However, the real reason is so the father can has a lip reading specialist view the film and determine what is transpiring between her and the director. It turns out she IS having an affair with the director and the rich guy responds by nearly killing her--he is a dangerously jealous man, it seems. Where all this goes from there, you'll have to see--especially how the director/writer becomes blind.
There is MUCH more to the film than this, but it's best to see the film instead of me trying to describe it. That's because the star of the film is the acting--in particular, that of Lluís Homar. Despite the more famous Penelope Cruz being featured on the movie posters and ads, he seemed to be the key actor in the film and his underplaying really intrigued me. His acting was subtle but quite effective. The other star was the direction by Pedro Almodóvar--it, too, was unhurried and exceptional. If only the characters hadn't all been so selfish and unlikable, the movie could have been great....too bad.
Loading video, please wait...
Passion, obsession, wealth, jealousy, family, guilt, and creativity. In Madrid, Harry Caine is a blind screenwriter, assisted by Judit and her son Diego. The past comes rushing in when Harry learns of the death of Ernesto Martel, a wealthy businessman, and Ernesto's son pays Harry a visit. In a series of flashbacks to the 1990s, we see Harry, who was then Mateo Blanco, a director; he falls in love with Ernesto's mistress, Lena, and casts her in a film, which Ernesto finances. Ernesto is jealous and obsessive, sending his son to film the making of the movie, to follow Lena and Mateo, and to give him the daily footage. Judit doesn't like Lena. It's a collision course.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN