Sunday, 28 June 2009

Frida


Frida; Drama, USA/ Canada/ Mexico, 2002; D: Julie Taymor, S: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Valeria Golino, Ashley Judd, Antonio Banderas, Edward Norton, Geoffrey Rush

Frida Kahlo is a young student in Mexico in the 20s of the 20th Century. She spots the notorious painter and ladies' man Diego Riviera in an auditorium where he was painting a picture of a naked woman with whom he cheated his girlfriend with. In a traffic accident involving a crashed bus Frida remained heavily injured and couldn't walk. Only after a few operations did she manage to walk again and started painting. She married Diego despite his affairs and went with him to the US. The couple returned to Mexico and received Trotsky, Stallin's dissident, who was murdered a short time later. With time, Frida's health deteriorated so she experienced her first gallery in her homeland in bed.

Salma Hayek was rightfully nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for the title role and her dream role of famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, yet the film isn't particularly inspiring, among others because, as it's mostly the case, the artistic achievements seem much more interesting than the life of the artist. Hayek was always a good actress, but it seems only with this role did she manage to compel the wider audience to see that, since she plays the heroine very naturally, not even shying of some erotic scenes, yet the story is revolving too much around her lover Diego Riviera, who "monopolizes" too much time for himself, while some of her parts of life were marginalized. The film has good intentions and flows nicely, even though it's a too standard biopic with little new to offer in the genre, even though the best moments are surreal: for instance, in the scene where Frida is watching the film "Kong" and imagines Diego in the role of the giant ape; her hallucination of doctor-skeletons (stop-motion animation) or when her painting is crying through the paper.

Grade:++

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