DVD Review - The Skin I Live In

Acclaimed, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar has always made interesting, beautiful and sexually provocative films. The Skin I Live In is yet another. I haven't seen all of Almodovar's films, but of the ones I have, I've really enjoyed. I didn't enjoy this one though, if only because I couldn't extrapolate any point or purpose to it. I had no clue by the end or at any moment what Almodovar was trying to say. I had no clue what the meaning of any of it was.

Antonio Banderas stars as Robert Ledgard, a scientist who invents a super skin for humans to use for transplant purposes, if a person ever loses his or her skin to a fire or something. It's in response to his wife getting supremely burned in a car crash. What we learn is that at Robert's house / laboratory, he's holding a woman hostage.

After a series of strange events, it's revealed that the woman named Vera used to be a man named Vincente. Robert kidnapped that man and forced him to have a sex change operation. Robert kept him hostage until the man was fully transformed into a woman in every way, shape and form. Robert then has a love affair with this transgendered woman. As I watched this unfold, my question was why. Why is Almodovar telling this story?

It could be said for almost all of Almodovar's films, but this one really is just a bizarre and crazy narrative that doesn't have a guiding or underlying message. It's just an insane sequence of events, which will either rapture people or not. It didn't rapture me. The best that I can say is that it's a twisted revenge tale that isn't meant to have any meaning, but instead be a thrill ride. Sadly, none of the relationships work or are believable.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for violent content, sexual assault, graphic nudity, drug use and language.
Running Time: 2 hrs.


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