Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Kika; Grotesque/ Satire, Spain/ France, 1993; D: Pedro Almodóvar, S: Veronica Forqué, Àlex Casanovas, Victoria Abril, Peter Coyote, Rossy de Palma, Santiago Lajusticia, Bibiana Fernández

Madrid. Photographer Ramon finds his mother murdered in his apartment, but his stepfather Nick claims it was just suicide. 3 years later Ramon died, but suddenly comes back to life when cosmetologist Kika was applying make up on him for the funeral - the two of them become a couple. Nick sometimes has an affair with Kika, while Andrea, host of the TV show "The worst news of the day", is Ramon's ex girlfriend. One day fugitive Paul, brother of the maid Juan, bursts into the apartment and rapes Kika. The police breaks them up but Paul escapes. Kika is surprised Andrea has the tape of the rape and discovers that Ramon has been filming her from an apartment for a while now. Nick discovers that he killed Ramon's mother so he and Andrea kill themselves. Kika and Ramon make up.

Radical, cult black grotesque "Kika" marked the point where Pedro Almodovar went overboard with his provocations and bizarre style: the movie was criticized not only in Spain for misogyny, shocking scenes and immoral tone, which caused the director to later on calm down and make gentler dramas "The Flower of My Secret" and "All About My Mother". The title heroine, played by Veronica Forque, is a cheerful blond who is in the exposition applying make up on the dead Ramon and mischievously says: "If you were alive, you would probably fall in love with me...And I would probably in you too", thus it is very elaborated and quirky when he suddenly truly inexplicably comes back to life: that moment is a typical Almodovar, neatly mixing cute and strange, and humorously paraphrases "Sleeping Beauty". But pretty quickly the movie starts unraveling in a completely different direction, turning cold, unemotional, dark and convoluted. Kiki's antipode is the egoistical Andrea, host of a dark TV show called "The worst news of the day", wearing at one occasion a black costume with holes for her nipples and also has a camera situated on her head, and her news that only present morbid events crystallize some sort of a media critique. The most infamous moment in the story is probably the rape sequence that Almodovar tried to make funny, even though it's questionable if that was advisable: namely, fugitive Paul breaks into Kika's apartment, where she is sleeping, and goes on to put a orange in her genitals and then continues to rape her, trying to ejaculate several times in a row without stopping, and the police even has to forcefully separate him from her. That sequence is rather lascivious. Even though "Kika" isn't crap, as some say it is, it really seems Almodovar lost his touch for poetry and measure.


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