Sunday, August 2, 2020


Movie Name: Kika
Year of Release: 1993
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Starring: Veronica Forque, Alex Casanovas, Peter Coyote, Victoria Abril, Rossy de Palma, Santiago Lajusticia, Anabel Alonso, Jesus Bonilla, Karra Elejalde, Manuel Bandera, Charo Lopez, Francisca Caballero, Monica Bardem
Genre: Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Genial director Pedro Almodovar followed his feature "Tacones Lejanos/High Heels" with a return to his more lively comedies. At the time, "Kika" was seen as a possible exhaustion of his creative universe and a nadir to his career, but if anything it sits exactly at a point where it would allow him to start one of the most exciting moments of his film making career. The film follows the story of Kika, a makeup artist, currently living with her younger partner, Ramon. She met Ramon through his stepfather, an American author by the name of Nicholas, whom she was dating at the time. Nicholas suspected Ramon of being dead, following a seizure that left him motionless, and wanted Kika to retouch him with her makeup. As Nicholas makes his way back to their lives, after some estrangement, Kika starts an affair with him, as does her best friend Amparo. In this web of relationships, also participates Kika's housemaid Juana, whose brother Pablo, a convicted ex-porn star, just escaped the clutches of justice. On top of it all is the presence of Andrea Caracortada, Ramon's ex-girlfriend, who is now the host of a reality TV show, focused on capturing the most violent and vile that occurs in society. All these characters come crashing down on Kika's life, who ultimately just wants some direction.
"Kika" is another richly layered film from director Pedro Almodovar. There are similarities to his celebrated "Mujeres Al Borde de Un Ataque de Niervos/Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown", in the sense that Kika, much like Pepa, are the central characters, around whom the story revolves. What's so distinctive about "Mujeres.../Women...", is the tightness of the narrative, and how the action takes place in a short timeline, allowing us to witness the over the top events that Pepa has to tackle during that particular day. "Kika" is not built as a single day view into the life of this woman, but more like episodes of her life, as tensions and situations escalate, until they have this over the top climax, one where almost all the characters converge. As is always the case in Almodovar's films, the writing is excellent, flowing from the characters, a mix of everyday chatter, with some intellectual views into art and politics. Even if the film itself doesn't give much away in terms of some of its lead characters, particularly the American author played by a somewhat dour Peter Coyote, it's nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable journey that we're taken on. It deftly mixes views on Women's sexuality, Violence on TV, all mixed with his unique and fantastic sense of humor. The cast is diverse with quite a few of his typical collaborators, including the hilarious Veronica Forque, Victoria Abril, Rossy de Palma and Bibi Andersen. Always worth watching and revisiting, from one of the most interesting and uniquely talented film makers.