Capturing from the first credits, the film “Pain and Glory” (2019) does not let go until the very end, having received positive reviews and reviews from critics after the screening at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. This story is a big puzzle, collected from the memories of an aging director, there is a place for pain, fame, and passion. Each story is dictated by time and fate, and each decision is given either by pain or by inspiration. For many, the picture will be a real pain medication that will free you from hard memories and clear the way for a new one, because the example of El Salvador is inspiring.
Past, Present, and Future
The director of the picture Pedro Almodovar called “Pain and Glory” an autobiographical film, and the image of the main character Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) turned out to really look like the personality of his creator. And, probably, the director had to reflect on events from his own past.
“- When you write about a director (being a director himself), it is impossible not to compare events with facts from your own life. I tried to give Antonio an image similar to mine, especially with regard to hairstyle. His shoes and many of the elements of clothing are also exactly like mine, right down to the shades. If the scenery turned out to be a corner that needed to be filled with something, the art director sent his assistant to my house to borrow some elements of the interior in which I live. This is the most autobiographical part of the film, and it was very convenient for my colleagues from the crew to work in this way, ”- P. Almodovar.
To understand the idea, you will have to walk with Salvador along the corridors of his memory, along the most important milestones in the hero’s life: childhood in the distant 1960s, first passion and reading lessons, success and maturity in the era of changes in the 1980s, stagnation and depression, and finally a debriefing. Instead of the plot, the viewer is transferred from one story to another, from one thoughtful story to the next. This creates the feeling that you are watching a multi-part film, and, perhaps, from “Pain and Glory” you would get a good series.
The noticeably aged director Salvador Malo is cut off from society and cinema, experiencing a creative crisis. He suffers from various age-related ailments, panic attacks and anxiety attacks, drowning out physical and mental pain with pills:
“Life annoys me like a useless medicine,” says Mallot.
In general, pain is a rather boring and not too popular topic in the cinema, but Almodovar managed to make it an important figure, revealing the depth of the protagonist’s experiences, his self-destruction and melancholy. After all, the reasons for his physical weakness lie in mental trauma and emotional scars.
However, fate does not seem to allow Salvador to wallow in ignorance and deep depression - Alberto Crespo (Asier Echeandia), an old friend and talented actor, appears in his life. It is to him that the director trusts to put his monologue "Attachment", wishing to remain incognito.
Break free from personal
Attachment is a very personal story about the relationship of young Salvador and Federico, their love and passion during the 1980s freedom. Maillot wrote a monologue to free himself and someday, perhaps, to return to this story. "Attachment" tells the story of what El Salvador had to endure when his lover could not cope with depression and destructive dependence. Now, after 30 years, the men have switched places. Salvador drowns in addictions and addictions to psychotropic substances, and Federico managed to defeat them. By the will of fate, he finds himself a spectator in a theatrical production and immediately recognizes their dramatic love story.
Alberto Crespo performs "Attachment" alone against a virgin white screen, there is no scenery, but there is a special rhythm in every word written by Salvador.
Federico hears the voice of Salvador in every word of the actor and does not hold back tears. He again plunges into the past, into that pain and those strong feelings that he managed to carry through so many years. The same evening, the men were destined to meet again, and the life of El Salvador will again sparkle with colors. He felt alive again.
First passion and watercolor
El Salvador’s thoughts are shifted deep into the past when he first felt a surge of passion and attraction to a man, being a 9-year-old boy (Asier Flores). But he recalls this, only after 50 years. Salvador stayed at home in the company of a young worker (Cesar Vicente), who was finishing repairing a faucet in the kitchen, and the boy taught him to read.
Salvador sits under the dormer window of the house under the scorching sun, it is stuffy and hot in the room, a boy in a chair with a book in his hands against the whitewashed walls - the composition turned out to be beautiful, and the young worker decides to draw it. He sketches on burlap, and then takes home to someday finish in color. This scene is extremely important, because it was thanks to it that Salvador was able to remember the working artist after so many years, when he accidentally saw a watercolor image on one booklet.
And it is here that the still innocent boy Salvador finds out about his sinful "first desire", awakened by the stately and beautiful naked body of the master, when he decided to wash. The sensations of Salvador were so strong that his knees bend and he faints.
Even despite the depressive state of the protagonist and creative stagnation, the colors around are bright, there is a feeling that life is pulsating everywhere. El Salvador, even in moments of self-flagellation, is surrounded by art and dressed in colorful shirts. So the viewer is made to understand that before the crisis, Salvador was quite successful and in demand, and perhaps could not find the strength to cope with the mental pain from the past. Pain is surrounded by objects of fame; these figures compete with each other throughout the film.
In the end, the viewer finally sees the line between truth and fiction, which remained invisible during the narration. This is the story of El Salvador’s relationship with his mother, from childhood until her death.
Bright “Pain” and the departed “Glory” Almodovar will be released June 12, 2019 and will undoubtedly collect even more admired reviews and reviews, the film turned out to be mature and very personal.
Video: The Pain and Glory trailer (PAIN & GLORY)