Pedro Almodovar is considered among one of the best directors in the last two decades, by many. He makes incredible love stories with unusal kind of characters. In fact there are much better Spanish directors, but he some how seems to be the most popular one.
A blind, middle aged script director, who still manages sexual adventures, is assisted by his agent and her son. When a new director approaches him for a script, the story some how seems to be associated to his past. This director is connected to his best love of the life and also his loss of sight. He has to go back to his past and set things out straight.
This is not the very best of Almodovar, but I have to say this movie is like a drama filled with lots of thrill and surprises. In the beginning, Mateo is just a blind director, but slowly the movie jumps back and forth and what unfolds is not a triangular love story, but the story of two families in fact, or the story of four lovers. There is Lena, who works as the secretary to a billionaire business man Martel, but also works as a call girl to meet her parents medical needs and finally end up as a mistress to Martel himself. There is this obsessed and possessed love of the old man, Martel, to Lena. Mateo is the young director who actually falls in love with Lena during his directorial work. There is Judit, who is Mateo's agent, but did share a love life with Mateo many years back. Out of this Judit comes into real relevance only towards the latter half, although she is omnipresent, and holds some surprises. It is how Lena follows Martel, Mateo and Lena falling for each other with Martel strictly following them to make sure he doesnt lose Lena and the incidents there upon that makes the main story. To be frank, at least one of the surprises, for eg. about Deigo, Judit's son, doesnt make a big impact. But how everything is told makes this movie nearly like a thriller. It still drags a little bit towards the end. And it also really does not touch our innner heart. It stops some where before.
It is a wonderful film, nicely shot and edited. The colour combinations are typical of Almodovar, so is how the movie goes back and forth between the past and present.
Penelope Cruz, as Lena impress for sure. I was spoiled by her brilliant performance in Vicky Christina Barcelona, so always tends to compare, unintentional though. Jose Luis Gomes, as Martel is definitely the best performer. I especially liked his shot, trying to pretend like a dead man, after sex with his mistress, just to measure how much she cared for him, and his reaction to Lena's words how she detested sleeping with him.
Not the best of Almodovar, but it is still a good love story.