Monday, 29 August 2011

Film Review: The Skin I Live In (2011)

My sister and I were going to watch Cowboys & Aliens but due to missing the showing, we decided to watch The Skin I Live In instead. I had read a bit about it and it was on my mental list of films to watch, but not necessarily at the cinema. Anyway, it was a really excellent film! I'd forgotten how good of an actor Antonio Banderas really was...this film truly showcases how brilliant he is in a thriller....and before I go on, I must stress that the rest of my review will have spoilers, so please do not continue reading if you really intend on watching it!!
The film is directed by Pedro Almodovar and is in Spanish with subtitles, which isn't an issue with me...although I was very amused when a lady at the cinema said to her friend 'I don't know French'...which shortly lead to them leaving after about 10 minutes into the film...they really missed out!
Antonio Banderas plays a surgeon called Robert who creates a skin that cannot burn. His obsession with this came from his wife being in a car accident and is severely burnt. He manages to keep her alive but upon seeing her reflection, she kills herself. Although he claims that he tested this new 'skin' on mice, he has actually been illegally testing it on a person he kidnapped. Not only is he using this person as a guinea pig, but they also become something else... something much more personal to him. I wanted to say what it was, but just incase someone misses my spoiler alert above (in red), I'm going to hold back! You will be amazed by what actually happens as it is revealed in quite an amusing way, literally in a sentence - well, it made the audience chuckle anyway - although I must say that I had already worked it out myself prior to this! 
The film is set in 2012, but often jumps back to different times, which unwraps and reveals what is happening in the present...this may seem a bit confusing at first (to my sister anyway) but you end up quickly piecing everything together and it is all actually pretty twisted! I would totally describe this film as a 'sophisticated horror'. The music used is also well chosen and adds to the drama. 
Another thing I wanted to add, something very small and something only someone in Fashion may spot, was the bodysuit the 'patient' had to wear. I had noticed how detailed the design was, in regards to the stitching detail and how it highlighted contours of the body... the style looked so familiar but I couldn't put my finger on it! So, naturally, I had to do a bit of Googling and discovered that it was indeed designed by Jean Paul Gaultier! It is totally his handwriting and I can't believe I spotted something so unimportant to the film!
Anyway, back to the actual film ....the ending could have been better, but is it because it wasn't as annoying as how other films sometimes end? I couldn't decide. However, the cast was just brilliant, I wouldn't have changed anyone! The funny thing though, was the irony. How the 'patient' becomes free by using the skill they were not born with, and didn't ask for. Sorry, cryptic, I know....final word though, don't ever piss off a surgeon.
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