With career defining performances and mature filmmaking at its heart, the film is a cure to all the diseases it could have easily fallen for.
Pedro Almodovar, the writer and director, is new to me. I have heard and am aware of his work, but never have felt it. Felt anything so raw and confident like this. And though compared to his other work, I may not know where or how to place this. What Almodovar, something I can see currently, excels on is something you don’t expect. Something that you aren’t focusing on. Something that you have never, actually. Watching films for years and years, you have a certain amount of expectations from a scene and the tone and even the stage of a film that it comes under or around.
Almodovar is showering you with all the love and passion he can in his well planned and perfectly timed antics but also these aspects of the storylines that are just to link those big set pieces with a thread. It is just that the thread is incredibly strong and durable. Sugar coated with genuine emotions and heartwarming performance that even makes the most mundane activity into a big moving decision-making adventure. And yes, I am speaking of a scene where Antonio Banderas goes out to just buy some heroin.
A clip that can be extracted without any context and history and any other promises it leads towards and still can be enjoyed and inspired from. What the film is, is also a game of words. A textual representation of a film, to be more expressive. The characters are often talking about the memories that they share or they wish to make, either way the film repetitively textualizes those words. Not a book. Not a novel. Not even educational. Just words, floating around. Not even accurate. Nor poetic. Not a forward pass. No, sir. Pain And Glory was never pain for me, though it could easily grow dark, but it is mostly the birth of the idea, the rest is up to your imagination.