“Marriage can be murder.”
This tale of a Hispanic wife whose sanity disintegrates, beginning with the murder of her husband and ending with…well, you have to see it, had me shifting somewhat nervously, as my Hispanic wife sat beside me. “These are your people,” I said. Chris disavowed all knowledge, being Cuban rather than Spanish – while I can see her point, still… Azucena (Asensi) is unhappy in marriage to a greedy builder (Resibes), but his money keeps her family afloat, so she tolerates it, finding love with his hunky employee, Pablo. However, when the money looks like drying up, she hatches a lethal plan – which would probably go better if she didn’t hire the local retard [Non-PC that may be, there’s no other way to describe him; he agrees to do the murder for 1,000 pornos and a VCR]. However, that’s just the start: Pablo has a nasty surprise, and Azucena soon finds others needing disposal. And did I mention her TV is now talking to her?
Things take a bit of time to get going, and for a while it looks like it’s going the tiresome, Almodovar route of “All men are bastards.” Fortunately, it starts to develop its own style, and Asensi is great in her role; you can see while the individual choices make sense, even if the end result is disastrous in every way. The director does a nice job mixing a number of genres: telenovelas [the Spanish soaps], black comedy and horror – particularly the final scene. Credit also to Karra Elejalde as the imbecile Lalo, who manages to bring humanity to a role which could easily no more than a stereotype. There is some unexplored potential in the idea of the heroine getting advice from her television, and that could easily have been expanded. Mind you, at 105 minutes, it is somewhat over-stretched too, and tightening of the early portions would have helped. Overall, though, the time passed quickly enough, even if I will be keeping Chris away from sharp objects for a while. :-)
Dir: Javier Rebollo
Star: Neus Asensi, Antonio Resines, Nathalie Seseña, Pere Ponce