Dir: Liberto Rabal
Star: Adriana Davidova, Javier Albalá, William Miller, Carolina Bona

This is the kind of film I can't honestly say I enjoyed; indeed, it's more a chore to be endured than anything. But once you get past the opening thirty minutes - we debated pretending we never received the DVD - it's probably one you will remember. Ana (Davidova) lives her life in a drug-induced stupor, co-habiting with her brother (Miller) in an incestuous relationship. Her pharmaceutical phog is rudely interrupted by former boyfriend Victor (Albalá); he's now terminally-ill and kidnaps her in order to... Well, that's really the question, and it's one director-writer Rabal seems unwilling to answer explicitly. You're left to make of proceedings what you will, which always seems to me a bit of a cheat: while I enjoy challenging films, they need to have a philosophy rather than shrugging and saying, "Well, what do you think?"

Much credit to Davidova, for what can only have been a gruelling shoot - I believe she is Rabal's wife, though not sure if that makes things better or worse. She's chained up, stripped, blindfolded, and generally abused for most of the final hour, in a way that can only be respected. She looks like Carrie-Anne Moss's slutty, junkie sister - which again, may or may not be a selling point. Rabal's style detracts significantly from things; I can see why a trippy, over-exposed, shaky and occasionally slo-mo approach is appropriate, but just because you can do it that way, doesn't mean you should. That distracted significantly from what could, in better directorial hands, have been an intense, claustrophobic piece of work. Instead, the actors put it all on the line, and that's where any credit for this piece deserves to go.

[The film will be released in the US on May 22nd, through Ariztical Entertainment. See the Ariztical site for more information]

May 2007

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