Broken Embraces (Los abrazos rotos)

  • 2009-09-03
  • By Michael Litvinsky
Director: Pedro Almodovar

One the most contradictory and original directors of our time Pedro Almodovar and his gorgeous muse Penelope Cruz have presented their latest movie "Broken Embraces" and, as their other works, this one is filled with a variety of strong and deep emotions. Almodovar not only plays with his characters lives, but also tries to impact maximum impressions on the viewer, extend his perception.

The movie shows us Harry Caine(Lluis Homar), blind script writer, who at the beginning of the movie seems  lifeless and indifferent to everything. Receiving help from his agent Judit (Blanca Portillo)  and her son Diego(Tamar Novas), he continues to write screenplays despite his blindness, gained in a car accident 14 years ago. Still, somehow, he gets to a point in his life, when he must reconsider his past relationship with Lena (Penelope Cruz), who died in the same car accident, and try to heal his old wounds.

 An uncommon situation, that is the basis of the plot, so indicative for Almodovars movies, is told with maximum possible realism, so the viewer can fully merge with the picture, try out the role of every character. Maybe because of that in different parts of the film Almodovar puts an accent on a different personage. Basically, Almodovar tries to tell us several stories instead of telling us one, but more precisely.

A clever, not snazzy, yet understandable, appropriate and elegant symbolism was always a "trademark" of the Spaniards movies. Filled with quotations (not only literal) from books and films (his own and of other directors) the film still does not lose its originality, making a combination of quotes add an absolutely independent and innovative style to it.

The over significant feature of the plot is that it is divided into two only slightly connected parts: nowadays and the year 1992 then Harry was still seeing, was a movie director and even had a different name 's Mateo Blanco. It is as if Almodovar tried to specify the changes that have happened to the main character and the courage he had to rediscover his alter ego after 14 years of trying to forget his past.

And, of course, the participation of, probably, the brightest and well-known of modern Spanish actresses Penelope Cruz adds an additional sparkle to the action on the screen. Helping her to create an unbelievably realistic figure, it seems that only Almodovar, and no other director, has been able to fully unleash her sexuality, vulnerability and star power. And although she plays a supporting role, she draws all attention to her character when on the screen with her incredible charisma and passionate look .

As a perfectionist making a realistic drama, Pedro Almodovar, requires a complete realism in everything, so besides the music, the sound effects involve a lot of everyday noises, which dramatizes the action on the screen and makes the feeling of characters presence much more  obvious.
So, at long last, "Broken Embraces" is not a movie for relaxation, it is a movie for an experienced and, what is more important, cogitative viewer, who is capable of appraising what he sees.

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