A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya and Jan Cornet
Runtime: 117 Minutes
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn with Butter
One of the most powerful movies that I have ever seen, a movie that spawns questions of everything throughout, masterful portrayals of characters never seen before in film, a story so devastating, unique, satisfying, disturbing…this is Almodóvar’s The Skin I live In.
There is nothing that a review or preview can tell or show you that will prepare you for a movie like this, and there is no film ever created before that is like it. The only thing that can be for certain is while watching you will experience an intensity brought on by very few things, and in the end you will be left tired and breathless.
It is a story of a brilliantly mad scientist played by Antonio Banderas who specializes in creating a new form of skin to help burn victims. His departed wife we find out early on in the movie was burned in a terrible and he performed her face surgery. He is as genius as he is insane, using his practice at the expense of others to repair the dark past of his life. He has seemingly everything at his exposure in his mansion home in Toledo, Spain.
At the beginning of the film we are introduced to the beautiful Vera (Elena Anaya) who is a patient he keeps locked in his home in captivity. We see that the that there is an odd relationship something reminiscent of love, or lust, or control that Robert has for Vera as he looks at her through a giant mural sized television in his room on Closed Circuit TV. He zooms in closely to look at her, and feeling she is being watched she stairs into the camera with a blank, yet seductive gaze. As the movie goes on we learn more about the layers of Robert’s life. With only the audience aware of their existence, we learn about his lost brother, his mother, both who play integral parts in the movie. This is a specialty of Almodóvar letting the audience in on pieces of information that the characters don’t even know. The movie also flashes back to a party showing a night involving his daughter and the boy that he mistakenly kidnaps named Vincent (Jan Cornet). At times I felt like Almodóvar was telling two, maybe three different stories, although, the most amazing thing about this movie is that they all come together and there is not a wasted shot, line or moment of silence throughout the film. Including the beautiful score by Alberto Iglesias.
One scene after the next the story line is twisted and turned with amazing acting using spectacular colors and sharp images. The movie’s beauty is very much in the extravagant and bold colors that Almodóvar uses to perfection, creating spooky and conflicting feelings.
The Skin I live In sparks thoughts and discussion, it is defiantly not the story for everyone. I am afraid that the subject matter will ultimately limits this film’s viewers or turn people that have seen it off from the amazing things it has going on. I would recommend to face your fears of the subject and see it! I found the story to be fascinating, and new, but even if you don’t feel the way I did, it would be impossible not to appreciate all of the greatness that is going on in this film. How on point, precise everything is with no detail missed and executed to perfection. This movie despite what people may think when I tell them, is one of the most spectaucilar movies of 2011, and an absolute must see for movie lovers. Prepare yourself!
Large Popcorn With Butter!