Live Flesh, Live Flesh Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
Michael A. Maynez   photo

"Live Flesh"

Relationships are the chemistry of great art and Pedro Almodovar’s knows his way in and out and doesn't flinch an inch.  When he is hot he is HOT.  Prostitution, revenge, adultery with a capital A, and deception, are but a few of the subjects that our hero has to deal with, Liberto Rabal, has the innocent eyes of a hot stud poised for action and he finds it with Francesca Neri and Angela Molina, both worthy of smoldering the screen. Javier Bardem is the fourth person to this quadrangle.  They each have a background that is a story in itself and how Almodovar weaves his magic spell on the audience is the beauty of his cinematic storytelling.

The photography is brilliantly lurid with colors not always accomplished in film.  The film's hero, Liberto Rabal was born in the Fascist Government of Spain.  His unwed mother gives birth to him in a bus and that segment of the story is indeed beautifully depicted, what with having to tie the umbilical cord with shoestrings and, without a sharp object to cut the cord, her benefactress cuts it off with her teeth.  Twenty years later we have the handsome hunk hankering for the first woman he ever had, except she is not interested as she is too involved in drugs.  Eventually she cleans up her act, but not before a shoot-out with the cops.  One of them is paralyzed and, of course, he is the one the hooker winds up marrying while our young hero goes to prison.  When he comes out he still hasn't given up on the first woman he had, even though she is now married.  The complications of all the sordid affairs soon start surfacing.  The final political statement is that when our hero's son is about to be born he will no longer be involved in the Franco Regime.  Pedro Almodovar has reason to be proud of such an incredible contribution to the cinema.

Live Flesh
Produced by: Agustin ALmodovar
Directed by: Pedro Almodovar
With: Javier Bardem, Francesca Neri, Liberto Ribal, Angela Molina, Pepe Sancho, Penelope Cruz, Pilar Bardem, Alex Angulo
Written by: Pedro Almodovar, Jorge Guerricaechevarria, Ray Loriga
Director of photography: Affonso Beato
Production design by:
Music by: Alberto Iglesias
Rated: R

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Original Date Tuesday 10 March 1998
Updated Tuesday 10 March 1998