And by now I’ve already seen four movies by Pedro Almodóvar, after this one, this one and this one. And maybe the time has come to stop, I thought while watching Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown… Let me explain.
This 1988 movie was the first great critical and box office success of the prolific Spanish director after six movies made between 1980 and 1987. And here we find all the elements of the Almodovarian cinema: women protagonists, strong colors, especially red, surrealist and grotesque situations, a non-sensical plot where the characters are related with each other in a casual and absurd way, the importance of music… which means that if you like Almodóvar, you cannot help but like Women on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately, I think that I don’t like his style!
Why not? Well, at least in All about my mother I liked the tributes to classical cinema and the ideas about social relationships, and in Volver I liked the rhythm and how it showed rural Spain which is usually not that visible in the media. But in Women on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I didn’t understand what the director wanted to say. Maybe it’s a simple comedy and I shouldn’t ask myself too many questions about it, but I haven’t laughed a bit, so the comedy side didn’t work for me. If there were some underlying themes, I didn’t get them. If there was a message, it didn’t get to me. And at a certain moment I was getting nervous due to the infinite amount of casual plot twists: the chickens on the terrace, the Shiite terrorists, the cops drugged with the sleeping pills, the friend who throws herself from the balcony, the crazy woman with the gun, the absurd taxi driver who seems to be the only taxi driver in Madrid… I kinda expected some flying discs at the airport!
Apart from all that, the actresses are very good (Carmen Maura, Julieta Serrano, María Barranco), nerdy Antonio Banderas is fun, the colors are fantastic, there are some surprising shots thanks to which Almodóvar makes some scenes very dynamic, the gazpacho is rich (better without the sleeping pills in it), there are two beautiful songs in the soundtrack: Soy infeliz by Lola Beltrán and Puro teatro by La Lupe… and there’s little else for me. Ciao!