Movie review: Matador

Posted: October 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

Movie review: Matador

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Starring Antonio Banderas, Eusebio Poncela, Assumpta Serna and  Nacho Martínez. Written by Pedro Almodóvar and Jesús Ferrero

This is an old one that Almodóvar created in 1986.  Here Antonio Banderas is a gorgeous young puppy’s whose naivety and unexplored sexuality finds him in the crossfire of a murderous lawyer Serna, and his perverse teacher, Poncela.   And to top it, his teacher challenges him by calling him gay.  Banderas plays a young guy who wants to be a Matador but he has issues with blood. Big issues; he collapses when he sees blood.   His mother is a religious nut whose husband has gone MIA for obvious reasons. She deplores her son and prays for his salvation. 

 On a rainy night Banderas’ character, Ángel, decides to rectify his virginity and homosexuality issues by raping a girl that he has been spying on for a while. What follows is an awkward, intriguing, rape but not rape, scene.  Did she enjoy it?  Remorseful, Ángel tries to report the act to the police who takes one look at the peachy faced boy and disbelieves him. But what really lies at the heart of the matter is that Ángel’s teacher and the lawyer that tries to defend his case have both perverse fantasies of sex and death. I mean Ángel’s teacher actually gets off on watching slasher movies.  It’s his passion since he can’t kill bulls anymore. These don’t remain fantasies but are realised in brutal murders.  It all gets really ugly and bizarre as the characters blur fantasy and lose grip on reality.  It’s not easy to watch but at least we are spared any gruesome bullfight scenes in favour or slaughtered humans.  It’s worth watching for the brutal yet somehow funny final scene. 

 Almodóvar comes across as a hopeless romantic who defies all natural human niceties for the sake of carnal pleasures. We love him for it even if it’s just a break from the mundane.

By Astrid Stark




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