The pride of Frankenstein
HERE comes another blast of catchily convoluted soap- opera surrealism from celebrated Spanish director Pedro Almodovar
( All About My Mother).
While definitely one of the filmmaker’s lesser works, this proudly odd melodrama never resorts to going through the motions.
The story of The Skin I Live In is driven by Dr Robert Ledgard ( Antonio Banderas, pictured), a brilliant plastic surgeon close to achieving a radical breakthrough in his field.
Should Ledgard perfect the manufacture and application of artificial human skin, money, fame and fortune will be his for the taking.
However, being something of a moody ( and kinky) mad- scientist type, there is always the possibility this cold and awkward man is pursuing his research with darker motives in mind.
Possibility? No, make that certainty. This is an Almodovar film, for crying out loud.
So once we spend a little quality time inside the Ledgard hacienda – a creepy, gated mansion staffed by a harsh servant- cumwarden named Marilia ( Marisa Paredes) – the cat is well and truly out of the bag. But wait, there’s more. What of Vera ( Elena Anaya), a beautiful patient possibly being held against her will inside Ledgard’s plush home laboratory?
Perhaps the surprise incursion of a costumed intruder will hold the key to her mystery.
If not, Almodovar has plenty of bizarre flashbacks at the ready. The clues you need to complete your investigation are in there somewhere.
Long- time Almodovar devotees will gladly give into the heady confusion sure to descend and intensify as the film wears on.
Less committed viewers may be left lamenting a lack of accessible humour to proceedings. The best way through in these circumstances is to focus on the eerie smoulder Banderas injects into his performance.