16 January 2002 | khatcher-2
A serious comedy
Refreshing almost-comedy by this little-known Spanish director. Three women find themselves thrown together on the streets, much against their will, and thus share a few experiences; these in themselves have little importance to the story-line as this is not a plot-driven film. Their paths cross and clash, and their personalities begin to explode across the screen producing several amusing scenes: a sexy, hippy-like adolescent Penélope Cruz , a drug-sniffing, heavily-smoking Ana Álvarez, and an insecure almost menopausic housewife, Beatriz Carvajal, find themselves in more than just verbal fisticuffs. The scenes are often funny, but with that underlying secondary interpretation which is rather more serious. It is this juxtaposition of the superficially amusing with the more profound intensity of the dramatic condition of being a woman that is the most appealing in this film.
The dialogues are often funny, laden with explicit sexual references of all kinds, and so therefore is definitely not suitable for youngsters. The main surprise is seeing Beatriz Carvajal in what might be called a serious rôle, albeit in a film which might be called a comedy. Hitherto she had only been known in light trivial TV shows and tele-series. Ana Álvarez and Penélope Cruz are of course both excellent as ever, and worthy of mention are Neus Asensi (`the baby came out as quick as a cow having a calf') and her `husband' Roberto Cairo in secondary rôles. The three women disappear along the dark street, each one with her own intentions, and the films ends leaving you to figure out what may happen next, but especially it leaves you thinking of those subtler underlying meanings nicely hidden but manifest in the film. I would give it a seven, which is unusual for me as I do not generally rate comedies very high. Good performances and an insight into what make women tick: it is worth thinking over, my lad.
Mostly neutral Iberian Spanish usage without difficult regionalistic accents.