Film Scouts Reviews

"Carne trémula (Live Flesh)"

by Kathleen Carroll

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Using Ruth Rendell's novel for inspiration, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar comes up with an unusual concoction - a thriller that is more amusing than suspenseful. His hero, Victor, is born on a bus during the most oppressive period of the Franco regime. He's promptly awarded a lifetime free pass on the city's bus system. But instead of going places the now-innocent teenager is hopelessly stuck on one woman - Elena.

His boyish obsession with the diplomat's drug-addicted daughter lands him in jail. After serving time (and studying the Bible and Bulgarian in an effort to improve himself), Victor once again pursues the same woman with thoughts of revenge. He's fated never to escape Elena, who, out of guilt, has married a paraplegic basketball star. He happens to be the very same man who, as a cop, originally arrested Victor. Tipping his hat to Bunuel, Almodovar explores the revered Spanish filmmaker's favorite themes of destiny and death. His playful, good-humored take on the normally glum film noir is fairly entertaining, but hardly memorable.

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