Etreintes brisées

Etreintes briséesLos abrazos rotos

Pedro Almodovar :: Spain :: 2008 :: 2h09

Harry Caine (Lluìs Homar) is a writer living his life comfortably in Madrid with his agent and friend Judit and helped by her son Diego. But his blindness, which hides the visible world from him, also protects him from seeing his tragic past. Till the fateful day they are confronted with Ernesto Junior, a figure set to re-awaken the life they once had.

The serene Harry Caine was not always Harry Caine, and he was not always blind either. In his previous life, he was a talented movie director with the name Mateo Blanco. And it was this Mateo who had fallen hopelessly in love on the set with the beautiful actress Lena (Penélope Cruz). Unfortunately, she was already claimed by a desperately jealous tycoon Ernesto Senior, who seems to spend more of his time guarding over Lena than he does managing his empire. By now you will understand that the movie-in-the-movie has become a ticking time bomb.

The film is made for people who love cinema, with direct references for real buffs. We see the young mistress of the manor dining with the old Tycoon as in a 50s film, we see her standing dangerously on top of a long majestic staircase, we see clips of the comedy Lila is filming as if they are clips of Almodovar’s Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Almodovar plunges you into a passion he shares with his audience, cinema itself, while pulling you into the emotional thriller provoked by the Lila’s uncontrolled magnetic attraction to Mateo. Although you are taken along in the unfolding story, the medium -cinema- and the choices made throughout -like the hairstyles– remain elements of pleasure and recognition for the viewer.

“Broken Embraces” is truly cinema, in its tense but playful form. It is passionate and cruel, true and fabricated, creative and destructive, figuratively both black and white and colour. It is a funny and challenging film which reminds you, lest you forget, of why you love cinema. And why you love Almodovar.


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