DIRECTOR: PEDRO ALMODOVAR
COUNTRY: SPAIN 1993
CINEMATOGRAPHY: ALFREDO MAYO
CAST: Veronica Forque (Kika), Pedro Coyote (Nicholas), Victoria Abril (Andrea), Alex Casanova (Ramon), Rossy de Palma, Annabel Alonso, Bibi Andersen, Santiago Lajusticia, Jesus Bonilla, Karra Elejalde
SUPER FEATURES: The cinematography, and the directing.
If there is anything that is worth while checking out in Pedro Almodovar's films, it is the superb cinematography. Like his previous films, this one is a treat to watch, not only in the color schemes that are quite outrageous, but also for the really well thought out set designs.
The story, that is something else. Despite its (rather) oddball storyline, this film is fun to watch, because it is really hard to figure out what is happening at any time, and what is this whole mess leading up to. And like many of Almodovar's films, this film could be about many things, from a surrealistic attack on the way that some television people can manipulate situations to get the results they want, to a story of odd characters who are usually scheming to get their way with the women.
Either way, the film is entertaining, although the famous situation considering Kika's rape is actually boring, and taken to a bit of total surrealistic exasperation.
But what is the film really about. The late Spanish master, Luis Bunuel, would say that the film is always about the people, and what they do in various situations when they happen. If this is the case, the characters in this film are quite unusual, and fun to keep track of. The television reporter, will stoop to anything to get A-1 material for her stories trying hard to get the premium ratings that she wants. At the same time, the person she is trying to frame and set up, also happens to be the wrong one to keep an eye on, as he is shifty, and is able to keep things going his way, all the way to the end.
But in between, is a series of situations that are off the wall, and some characters just seem to pop out of nowhere to surprise the viewer, and also to jolt the thinking. Who really is the maid? And what is the son actually doing.? And who is really setting up these things?
Although, I do not find this film as much fun to watch, as say for example, HIGH HEELS, still there is quite a bit of Almodovar here to keep us going. The film is extremely color rich, and well lit, almost to the point of too much, and the contrasts that are offered for the eyes, are quite a memorable viewing. But the rest of the film may just really be a bit of a bore. We are never really let into the characters to enjoy their idiosincratic ways. It almost comes off as a cartoon. But it is a Spanish cartoon, and the attitudes are different, and sometimes, fun to watch.
Slow to develop, and at times just plain, compared to other Almodovar films, KIKA, still stands as a fun film to watch, despite its occasional bad taste, here and there.
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