Dolor y Gloria de Pedro Almodovar | Review


Published on May 21, 2019


There was a pool inside a screen writer died that he wanted to be alive at the beginning of Sunset Boulevard by Billy Wilder, and instead there is a director alive that perhaps would be dead in the opening scene of Dolor Y Gloria, a new film by Pedro Almodovar, that, three years from the not really exciting Julieta is back with what is probably his best film of the twenty-first century, the not-too-happy for him, if not with the exception of Talk to Her, Volver and The Skin I live in.

And, not surprisingly, the Salvador Mallo, Antonio Banderas, disillusioned and depressed man of cinema that is not called Pedro Almodovar, but that Pedro Almodovar is to all the effects as if that were not enough, the interior of his apartment, his homosexuality, his anxiety, his physical problems and his clothing, in the end you will speak with an open heart and with as much intellectual honesty of autofiction), is right on his sunset boulevard when he starts this movie, a strange beast between comedy and drama that is neither drama nor comedy, and remains suspended between these two nuances of life-the cinema without taking a position.

Not to be even (being able) to repair in the dramedy, and that is the mingling of the two genres, because it keeps them separated from each other by a thin layer, and even in the story, because the story inside the story that is told in parallel to the events of Salvador (and that is the story of Salvador as a child, with Penelope Cruz in the role of his mother) at the end it turns out to be anything but, with flashback, which, in retrospect, become an exorcizing of personal memories in a game meta-film that explains how the art and the life, rather than imitate, are just the same thing.

Almodóvar does Fellini with this sort of personal re-elaboration of 8½ that the black-and-white replaces all the colors pop, just to give that pop of a rhythm from the post-punk that would like to be a rock ' n ' roll in the spirit but that is not ever in the body: old age and the cares seem to block Salvador (a Banderas Oscar, we say this by now) which, however, in the mind still has twelve years and is still in love with cinema, which no longer has the physical right to direct (he says it himself, being on the set is a matter of effort), but she still writes stunning pieces, that he does not see a epilogue positive neither for her career nor for his life (and indeed for his career-life, because the division does not exist) and simply let themselves be carried away by the tide of this sort of nihilism.

The emblematic and (we define it) unprecedented use of the drug is the most terrible of all, the heroine, who was associated in the ideology of mass self-destruction, and then to Death – which, exactly as the film maintains between laughter and tears, there always remains a mere detail, a footnote in an orchestra, never the gist: when Tarantino has cleared in Pulp Fiction, we have seen used in different shapes and shades (black comedy, drama, horror, melodrama, sentimental, satire), but always to express a concept, to do evil to the people, to condemn them, to get them to understand to be in the wrong.

Almodovar gives it a meaning only of white noise in the background, a task that is not-a task that has no utility for the protagonist, it is simply yet another piece in additional to a daily life which proceeds by accumulation, but which always remains empty.

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