Dir; Pedro Almodovar. Star; Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Penelope Cruz. R. Color. 113 minutes.
Rarely does a film with a more fitting title come along such as “Pain and Glory”. Director Pedro Almodovar has made one of his most introverted pieces in his 30 plus year career as the feeling of vulnerability oozes out of every frame to the point in which you do not have to be famous, nominated for awards, gay, an egotist, a drug addict, or of Mexican descent. You simply have to be human, which is what makes Almodovar’s latest outing, perhaps his most honest picture, arguably one of his best.
Several critics have compared “Pain and Glory” to “The Irishman” or “Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood”. The idea of introspective reflection on a great career. You can keep thinking that all day, but it’s bull-s. What Almodovar does with “Pain and Glory” is so much deeper. Instead of doing a morse-code style love tap that looks pretty it hits at the heart of what happens when age affects the things that you love. Literal pain and glory are impossible to contextualize in a film, but Almodovar gets pretty close here.
Antonio Banderas plays a creatively stifled yet gifted director in Salvador. His long time romance with heroine, the drug, reconnects him with a former theater partner both current and from the past. I would love to reveal more, but this is something words could not justify. Let’s just say it is pure Almodovar existentialism. Yeah, it is weird. Take five minutes to think about it please and you will see the real human stuff.
Salavador has flash backs with his mother (Penelope Cruz) who wants to but cannot help him. Salvador’s wife, mother, and friends cannot stop him. His continued disgust of society wears on him. The true love of those he cares for keeps Salvador going in both the right and wrong direction. A concept those who love him will try but ultimately never understand.
Saying why one should or should not like “Pain and Glory” would be a waste. There is no denying Antonio Banderas has a great performance and it is beautifully shot. Beyond that, it is a weird film that one must interpret however they wish to. Myself, I loved how insignificant it made humanity look no matter how important one thinks that they are. That was my humble interpretation. I would be hard pressed to argue that “Pain and Glory” was not exceptionally shot as well as acted at the top level. There will however be viewers that will not relate and I can understand why. I will stick to my guns on this one; the final shot is amazing.!
Suck Factor: 0out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!