Review: The Skin I Live In
This beautiful and bonkers film from Spanish master Pedro Almod�var, based loosely on a French novel, is the kind which should be watched with very little knowledge about the plot in advance.
Ideally, the audience should know nothing at all — but that would mean an abrupt end to this review.
Brilliant, refined and unscrupulous plastic surgeon Robert Legard (Antonio Banderas) has been toiling away for years trying to create a skin impervious to any damage. His human guinea pig is the mysterious and porcelain doll-like Vera (Elena Anaya). Constantly clad in a contoured, flesh coloured body suit, she lives out her days trapped, experimented upon and monitored in a windowless room inside the doctor's palatial home.
The only other person who knows of Vera's predicament is wary housekeeper Marilia (Marisa Paredes). Also entwined are addict and dress-maker Vicente (Jan Cornet) and man-on-the-run Zeca (Roberto �lamo) who arrives at the doctor's house in a tiger costume. The mystery of Vera and the connection between all these characters is what drives the film.
Almod�var covers familiar ground in exploring identity and relationships through over-the-top situations. What is new is that this is his first horror film, albeit one with very little blood and gore.
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The real horror lies in the violation of morals and sensibilities, and in the growing sense of doom as we learn more about the characters through flashbacks.
The film will undoubtedly be too disturbing for some. Thankfully, relief is provided in a perverse sense of fun sprinkled throughout the film. The cinematography, set design and score is a feast for the eyes and ears.
- 1 Mayhem at some petrol pumps - but how are other city garages faring?
- 2 SOLD! Royal Arcade goes for £2m MORE than guide price
- 3 Monster rats 'the size of cats' invade city - and get in via the LOO
- 4 New café serves a hundred customers in two hours on opening day
- 5 'Untouchable': People tell how Norwich killer left them in fear of their safety
- 6 This is where you can park for free in Norwich
- 7 Mayhem across city as drivers race to the petrol pumps
- 8 The Bill star reveals he has moved to Norfolk and why he loves it
- 9 Six new cafes and shops coming to Norwich
- 10 WATCH: Bus and cyclist skip red light in city
Like the beautifully sculpted Vera, Almod�var's film is a work of art.
THE SKIN I LIVE IN (15)
Director: Pedro Almod�var
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Elna Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet
Length: 120 mins